Wine is not the only alcoholic beverage that can be perfectly matched with a dish. With so many craft beer styles and tastes, you can also find the perfect pairing with beer and food. In fact, there are so many different beer styles and beer flavours, that you can find something for any dish. But how to find the right beer next to your meal? Let us teach you!
Here are the three principles to follow for craft beer and food pairing:
Find the common flavours for balance
First and the easiest way to match the beer with the food is to find similar tastes. This way, you will not make any mistakes. For example, a fruity beer can never go wrong with a fruity salad. If you have a chocolate cake prepared as the dessert, you can serve stout beer next to it. A peaty beer goes well with smoked bacon. A creamy chicken dish goes well with an American Pale Ale because their common flavours are rosemary and juniper.
To make it simple, beers that are light in flavour should be matched with lighter dishes. And on the contrary, dishes full of flavours match best with beers with complex flavour profiles.
Flavours that compliment each other
Another way to look at beer-food pairing is to match flavours that go well together. For instance, if you are used to putting lemon on a white dish, find a beer with lemony flavours. When your apple pie is missing caramel coating, find a beer with caramel notes instead. Moreover, as you would put blue cheese on a slice of bread, try the blue cheese next to a rye malt beer.
Flavours that contrast each other
With this principle, pay attention to not overpower one of the contrasting tastes. Both tastes must be still present, so you can have a perfect balance. It is also a good way to balance out too intense flavours. Some dishes or beers can have aromas or tastes that are too powerful. Beer-food pairing with contrasting flavours is an opportunity to find the perfect harmony. Think of taste pairings like sweet and sour.
For example, you can find a sweet wheat beer next to spicy dishes. On the other hand, if your dessert is too sweet, you can pair it with a session IPA to add a little bitterness to the mix. A meal with a lot of fat goes well with acidic beers.
Specific examples of beer-food pairings:
Oyster Stout and oysters
This couple is a good example of following the first principle of beer-food pairing, which is finding the common flavours. Oyster stouts are beers brewed with actual oyster shells. It is a must to try out this beer-food pairing. The result can be surprising.
Pilsner and sushi
This is an example of flavours that can complement each other. Beers with very strong flavours can fade away the tastes of sushi. Thus, a light pilsner is a good choice to make the sushi flavours stand out.
Porter and chili con carne
Here is a perfect example of flavours that contradict each other. The sweetness and smokiness of the porter help to balance out the spiciness of chilli con carne.
Now that you know the basics of beer-food pairing, are you ready to prepare a fantastic dinner with beer? Let us know which principle you use and if you have favourite beer-food pairings.