Food and Beer – How to Pair the Two
Food and Beer
The alcoholic beverage known as beer is a versatile and delicious complement to many different foods. The combination of the brewed drink with food is a culinary phenomenon that has existed since human beings started cooking and eating. From salty snacks to hearty entrees, there are few foods that don’t pair well with an ice-cold beer.
Beer is a complex beverage that can have a wide variety of flavors, aromas and textures. Made with cereal grains, hops and yeast, this drink can have a subtle bitterness or a rich sweetness. It can be cloudy due to unfiltered brewing, or clear and crisp, depending on its style. It can be a light and refreshing lager or a rich and filling stout. It can also contain notes of roasted malts, caramel syrup and a variety of spices.
When pairing food with beer, there are a few basic principles to keep in mind. The most important is to ensure that the beer doesn’t overpower the flavor of the food. Many medium and dark beers have a strong flavor that can be overpowering with some foods. For example, fish and a pint of Guinness would be too much of a match.
Another strategy is to contrast the flavors of the beer with the flavors of the food. This is a great way to make a statement about your pairing and show off your knowledge of beers and food. For example, a chocolatey stout pairs nicely with oysters and brings out their briny saltiness. Alternatively, a cold wheat beer can cleanse the palate from the heat of Korean fried chicken or a spicy Thai dish.