You may have heard of wine and food pairings. Alcoholic beverages have always been a complement to food around the world, and the right combination, or pairing as we say, can make your dining experience even more memorable.
Beer is as popular as wine, if not more so. Still, food and beer pairing is a relatively new concept. Can beer replace wine at the table? Is it legal to pair beer with food? They are and they are good.
Here's everything you need to know about beer and food pairings with examples. Pair your meal with the right beer to make both more enjoyable. Let's have fun!
Light beers with light dishes
The idea is to combine light and mildly spicy dishes with equally light beers. Not to be confused with true light beers; by light in this context we mean light and simple beers such as most light beers, many light beers, pilsners, etc. These beers are similar in many ways to dry white wines—they're thirst-quenching and crisp.
Pair these beers with light meals like sushi, salads, oysters, and goat cheese. Most seafood goes well with a refreshing beer, from butter shrimp to lobster, but try your favorite light beer with sashimi, such as sushi, sashimi, and tuna carpaccio.
Stronger beers, such as many pale ales, whole wheat beers, Märzen, Bocks, English bitters, and IPAs, have more body than pale ales and lagers. These beers can also be quite hoppy. If you like wine, consider these medium to full-bodied beers as beer alternatives to oaked Chardonnay.
With that in mind, these beers pair well with white meats, including pork, veal, and roasted poultry. They also shine when eaten with oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna. Creamy pasta, white sauce, and semi-hard cheeses also go well with moderate and strong beers.
Ales with hearty dishes
Wiener Lagers, Altbier, Munich Stouts, Helles, Festive Ales, Scotch Ales, and even Porter and Stout are all malty and less hoppy. Think bold flavors reminiscent of toast, chocolate, and roasted coffee beans. These "brown" beers can handle heartier meals with extraordinary effect.
By savory we mean all kinds of roasted red meats, stews, succulent casseroles, stews and anything served with a brown sauce, whether it's gravy or half glaze - even mushrooms! A big, bold brown beer goes perfectly with healthy food. Combining beer and food by weight is one of the easiest strategies.
Sour beer has everything
last but not least. Some rare beers have a pronounced acidity that makes each drink very versatile on the table. If you have to choose a single beer with a multi-course dinner, choose a sour beer.
There are several sour beers, including Berliner Weisse, Lambics, Gose, Flanders Red Ales and Wild Specialty Beer. These beers can also have complex aromas because they are fermented with wild yeast. Some of these beers are deliciously fruity, while others are a bit funky, but you'll learn to love them, especially when paired with food!