How to Pair Food and Beer
The more you explore beer, the more you’ll find it pairs beautifully with a wide range of foods. There are three main pairing principles to keep in mind: complement, contrast, and supplement. Complementing flavors is the simplest way to pair food and beer. For example, pairing a cheeseburger with ketchup and bacon enhances the taste of both. Contrasting flavors is more adventurous and allows you to showcase your foodie clout. For example, a rich, chocolate dessert pairs well with a porter or stout.
Many beers have unique characteristics due to their brewing process. Some beers are sour from the addition of lactic acid, while others have funky notes from brettanomyces. Many beers are unfiltered, which gives them a hazy complexion. And finally, many beers contain yeast cells—living, single-celled organisms that are responsible for producing carbonation and alcohol.
The most common ingredients in a beer are malted barley grains, hops, and water. The grains are soaked and germinated to convert the starches into sugars. They are then roasted to different levels to achieve the desired flavor profiles of the beer.
Many beer-lovers enjoy a good pretzel with their favorite beers. The classic salty taste of a pretzel pairs perfectly with most beers. It is also a great way to help wash down any bitterness that might be in your mouth after a heavy tasting beer.