Guidelines for Food and Beer Pairing
Beer and food Paring, it all comes down to harmonising the flavours of the food and the beer when combining the two.
Beer pairs well with food due to the complexity of its flavours, its cooling properties, and its ability to interact with a variety of food ingredients. Beer pairs well with food due to the complexity of its flavours, its cooling properties, and its ability to interact with a variety of food ingredients.
There aren’t many hard rules when it comes to making beer and food pairings as there aren’t many flavors that clash with beer. That being said, if you want to get the most out of your beer pairing and enhance the flavor of the food on your bar’s menu, try to keep these guidelines in mind:
- Contrast: To make an ideal pairing by contrast, you want to pick a beer or dish that has one strong, dominant flavor, such as sweet, rich, or oily. You want a dish that has a distinct taste that can shine through without being overpowered. An example of a good contrast pairing is oysters and stout. Oysters have a strong, briny flavor that can stand up to the rich texture and chocolatey notes of the stout.
- Complement: Complementing flavors is one of the simplest ways to make a delicious food and beer pairing. Match rich foods with beers that have a heavy and rich flavor, like stouts or porters. Pair light-tasting salads and fish with light beers or wheat beers with desserts like fruit tarts.
- Cleanse: You can also use your beer as a palate cleanser. This type of beer pairing is ideal for dishes that have strong or overpowering flavors, like spicy Indian food or fatty fried food. For example, you can use the cool and refreshing flavor of light beer to wash down the heat of Korean fried chicken. This pairing also works in the opposite way, and you can use fatty foods, such as french fries or nuts, to cut through the bitterness of an IPA.
- Avoid Overpowering Flavors: Keep in mind the levels of flavor in your food and beer. Many medium and dark beers have a rich and powerful flavor that can overpower certain types of food. For example, you wouldn’t want to pair salmon with a pint of Guinness because the flavor of the beer will completely cover the taste of the fish.
Beer and food pairing Based on Style
The different types of beer vary greatly in their color, alcohol content, taste, and mouthfeel, so if you want to make a good pairing, you must first understand the different styles of beer. Below, we’ve included a table that you can reference to make a quick pairing. You can also read on for a more in-depth guide on how to pair beer and food based on style.
- Wheat beers: Spicy food and fruity desserts
- Light lagers: Spicy food, burgers, salads
- India pale ales (IPAs): Steak, barbecue, and Mexican food
- Amber ales: Pizza, fried food, smoked pork
- Dark lagers: Pizza, burgers, hearty stews
- Brown ales: Sausage, sushi, fish
- Porters: Seafood, coffee-flavored desserts, game meats
- Stouts: Chocolate desserts, shellfish, Mexican food
These are only general pairing ideas, so if you want to create new and unique beer and food pairings, you’ll need to fully understand the flavor profiles of each type of beer.
Wheat beers have a smoother texture and less carbonation than other types of beer since they are made using a combination of wheat and barley grains. Since wheat by itself doesn’t contribute much flavour, many brewers flavour their beers with citrus and other fruity ingredients.
Wheat Beer Food Pairings: Because wheat beers are so adaptable, you may serve them with a variety of dishes. The following foods go well with wheat beers:
A buffalo wing.
Among the palest varieties of beer, light lagers are renowned for their crisp, refreshing flavour. The majority of light lagers lack flavour and are rarely bitter or hop-forward. One of the most well-liked types of beer in the country is this one, which includes a lot of well-known brands.
Light Lager Beer and Pairings:
Although you can match light lagers with just about any type of meal because of their refreshing flavour, they go particularly well with spicy food. Here are some light lagers that go well with the following foods:
Chicken wings and fries
A hot dog
Stouts are best renowned for their rich, roasted flavour that is akin to porters and their black colour. Stout is a dark, robust beer that is popular in Ireland and Great Britain. Mild ales are strengthened with stouts. Oatmeal stout, milk stout, and imperial stout are just a few of the varieties. So-called dry Irish stouts, such as Guinness, have been well-liked stouts in the past.
Despite their outward look, there are numerous moderate, well-rounded varieties of stout that are not necessarily strong in alcohol concentration, bitterness, or flavour. Strong chocolate and coffee flavours, as well as a silky smooth consistency, are typical characteristics of this type of beer.
Stouts Beer and Food Pairings:
Stouts are the ideal beverage to combine with a variety of sweets because they have a chocolaty flavour and a relatively low alcohol content. The following are some examples of dishes that go well with stouts:
Mousse with chocolate
Your menu can benefit from having food and beer pairings by improving the quality of your dishes and increasing sales. It’s critical to comprehend which flavours go well together in order to create the ideal beer pairings. You may create tasty and intriguing beer pairings that will enhance the flavours of your food and beer once you have a basic understanding of the flavour characteristics in beer. By selecting the appropriate beer glass for each type, you may also bring out the greatest flavours in your beer.
India Pale Ales
Within the broader genre of pale ales, India pale ale is a hop-forward beer style. By 1815, the India pale ale style was widely used in England. It would go on to gain popularity, especially as an export beer that was sent to India and other countries.
India pale ales, also referred to as IPAs, are one of the most well-liked beer varieties available in the current craft brewing market. IPAs often have a medium amber colour and taste that is extremely bitter. Many brewers give their beer citrus or herbal tones to make the harshness more tolerable. There are double IPAs in addition to regular IPAs; these beers are prepared with even more hops and have a very bitter flavour.
India Pale Ales beer and Food Pairings:
There are no strict guidelines for food pairings because there are so many different IPAs available. However, the following general food and beer pairings go well with all IPA varieties:
The cheese sticks
Amber beer and food pairing:
Amber ales are great beers for clearing your palate because of their dry, sharp finish. So, the following foods are a few that go well with amber ales:
Pulled pork off the grill
Porters originated in London, and the original variety were dark and strong, making them popular with the working class. Today, porters are milder and come in a variety of styles and flavors, but they kept their signature dark color, toasty aroma, and roasted flavor. Porters are made with roasted brown malts that give the beer strong notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Although both porters and stouts are thick and silky, porters have a crisper finish than stouts.
Porter Food Pairings:
Porters have a rich and deep flavor, so it is best to pair them with foods that have similar taste and texture. Here are a few examples of dishes that pair well with porters:
Rabbit, venison, and game meats.
Dark lagers, usually referred to as Dunkel or dunkel-style lagers, are between 4.5 and 5.5 percent alcohol by volume and range in colour from dark brown to black. These beers blend the roundness and crispness of a lager with the dryish chocolate or licorice flavours brought on by the use of dark roasted malts at their best.
There are many different kinds of lager, and dark lagers have a particular flavour. This kind of beer is brewed with roasted malts, and to make it sweeter, caramel syrup is frequently added. The caramel adds a faint sweetness, but it’s not overbearing, and the roasted malts give the beer a nutty flavour.
Dark Lager Beer and Food Pairings:
Dark lagers are popular throughout Europe, and they go well with substantial regional cuisine. Here are some illustrations of foods that go well with dark lagers:
Bangers & Mash,
Brown ales feature undertones of chocolate and coffee comparable to stouts and porters but are less bitter or hoppier than other medium-colored beers. Additionally, English brown ales typically taste dry and nutty. Brown ales are good beers that go well with a variety of dishes, but beer connoisseurs and craft brewers tend to ignore them since they lack the intense flavours and hoppiness that are currently vogue. A beer style known as “brown ale” has a dark amber or brown hue. Although it now has a somewhat different connotation, the term was first used by London brewers in the late 17th century to describe their goods, such as mild ale.
Brown Ale Food Pairings:
When it comes to food and beer pairings, brown ales are a flexible option and are renowned for going well with just about anything. Having said that, the following foods pair well with the deep chocolate and nutty tastes of brown ales: