Food and beer may seem like an odd pair, but that isn’t the case. Beer is one of the earth’s oldest and most enjoyed alcoholic beverages in the entire world, with the second most popular drink overall behind water and tea. Beer is generally made from cereals, grains grown in some parts of the world specifically for brewing, such as maize, barley, and oats. In other parts of the world, wheat is sometimes used as well. The alcohol comes from either sugarcane or yeast, depending on the particular type of beer where it’s made.
It’s not enough to drink the beer; it has to be paired well with food, too. Some examples of good beer and food match include dark-roasted coffee, spicy dishes, or even seafood. Think about the pepper on the back of a chili. That adds a little bit of heat and complexity to the coffee without overpowering it.
Another example of good food and beer combination is a contrast. For example, if you have a barbecue and barbecue, you could have a mild beer such as Oktoberfest or a hoppy dark lager like Chimay Blue. Or you could have a complimenting dish like a baked potato and dill pickle; just a touch of sour creates the contrast that will set the tone for the rest of your meal. The same idea works well with fish. A buttery fish fry is a hearty complement to a light beer like a Budweiser, or a crisp, golden brown ale paired with roasted, fresh fish makes for a refreshing, if slightly spicy, meal.
You might also pair a light lager or low abv beer with a hearty stew or chili. If you want to go bold, experiment with using a stout brewer such as an bar food near me. The darkness of these low abv beers makes them almost black, almost like they have dark color paper. They also seem to go well with dark foods. An example would be a juicy piece of brisket with a helping of sweet potato or a savory stew with collard greens and a bit of smoked cheese.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when pairing low abv and stouts. First, you can’t go wrong with a pint of Worthington’s World Class Beer, which features a rich malt flavor that matches well with hearty stews and chili. For another example, leave the fizz in your beer and try pairing it with Thai chicken curry. There are a variety of flavors to try, and this one stands out. There’s even a cashew cream sauce that adds another level of creaminess to the entire dish.
When paired with sweet and sour, you’re going for a complex flavor combination. Something you may not have tried is coconut and beer; however, you’ll find many delicious variations. For example, Pairing a tart ale with a mild mango flavor creates a unique and delicious concoction. Similarly, a blend of pale and darker beers works wonders with sweet foods. A crisp finish is a key to a great combination, and you should aim to create one with a lightly roasted malt flavor for the base of your dish.
Another good complement to light food pairings is a robust porter or stout. Many of these hardy varieties are also low in all so that you can get an authentic full-bodied flavor from each brew. Some people even pair a mild roast with their favorite light beer. If you do, the darkness will take away from both the flavor and the intensity of the taste of the soft medicine. While a darker brew may be bolder, it may lack some subtle nuances of a more diluted mixture.
Beer and barbecue may seem like they’re always a bad match, but they don’t have to be. By considering the different supporting components of each brew, you can pair them with almost anything. As you taste the many excellent beers made in America, continue to wonder how well you can pair beer and food in your own home.