Food and Beer Pairings
For centuries, if you asked for a drink with food in any mid-range to upscale American restaurant, the sommelier would bring over wine. However, in recent years, beer has been making its way onto the menu as a delicious complement to many different dishes. This article will discuss some of the most popular and best food and beer pairings that will add flavor and complexity to any meal, whether you’re at home or at a bar.
Beer is a beverage made from cereal grains (usually malted barley), hops, and water. These grains undergo a special process called malting, where they are soaked and germinated to convert their starches into sugars, allowing them to be brewed into delicious brews like lager, ale, and stout. Some beers are unfiltered, creating a cloudy complexion, while others are filtered to produce a crystal clear appearance. Depending on the style and process of brewing, beers can range from crisp, fruity, and dry to richly caramelized, roasted, and full-bodied.
Generally, beer pairs well with foods that are salty or spicy. This is because the beer’s bitterness and carbonation help cut through the salty or spicy flavors of food, while also adding its own unique taste to the dish. Additionally, beer can pair very well with sweet desserts such as cheesecake, creme brulee, banana pound cake, and butter truffles. If you’re eating a shellfish, try pairing it with a lighter or citrusy beer such as a hefeweizen or Belgian blonde to allow the natural flavors of the seafood to shine through. Finally, fatty fish such as sablefish or salmon should be paired with beers that have a heavier, richer flavor like stouts.