Food and Beer – How to Pair the Two
Whether it’s for a snack, a hearty meal, or simply to drink while watching a game, food and beer can be a great pairing. It is important to remember that the flavors of the beer and food should complement each other, not compete against each other. This will make for a more enjoyable and satisfying experience.
Most beers are made with malted barley grains and hops. The grains are soaked to extract their starches, and then roasted to varying degrees to achieve different flavor profiles. The result is a drink with complex and delicious flavors that pair well with many foods.
Some beers are sweet, some are spicy, and some have a hint of bitterness or yeastyness. These flavors can pair with a variety of foods, from salty snacks to savory entrees.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid pairing foods and beers that have very strong and overpowering flavors. This can be a problem with some medium and dark beers, which have a rich flavor that can overwhelm certain kinds of food. For example, salmon should not be served with a pint of Guinness, as the beer’s flavor would mask the taste of the fish.
Contrasting flavors are another way to pair food and beer, and can often produce a more exciting pairing than matching complementary flavors. For instance, chocolatey stouts pair well with desserts made with nuts or coffee, and the crisp acidity of IPAs can be a refreshing complement to spicy cuisines.