How to Pair Food and Beer
When paired correctly, food and beer enhance one another rather than overpower each other. A beer’s rich flavor pairs well with heavy foods like a steak, while sweeter beers pair well with desserts like chocolate cake.
The easiest way to pair food with beer is to complement the flavors of both. The right beers can complement the flavors of a salad or fish, while heavier beers like stouts pair well with richer foods.
A more creative approach to pairing is to contrast the flavors of both the food and beer. This can add an element of surprise and be especially fun. For example, pairing a sour dark ale with a sour doughnut or a spicy IPA with fried chicken can create a unique combination that is surprisingly delicious!
Cleansing the Palate
Beer can also act as a palate cleanser between bites of food. For example, a cold light beer can cleanse your palate from the salty fries or greasy cheese of a Buffalo wings meal, or help cut through the bitterness of an IPA.
Many medium and darker beers have strong flavors that can overpower some types of food, so it’s important to think about your beer and food pairings before ordering. For instance, a salmon entree would be overpowered by the Guinness in your glass, while a fish taco or a grilled cheese sandwich pairs well with the light flavors of a lager. There are many ways to pair food and beer, and the best way is to experiment and find your favorite combinations!