Beer is a popular drink but beer with food? To many people, beer is the drink of choice for a party or festival or when you simply want to go down the pub, beer is not normally the drink of choice when it comes to fine dining is it?
Sure a beer with a pub lunch or some crisp or peanuts from the bar maybe but in the majority of cases, beer isn’t often mixed with food. Which is a shame because when you choose the right beer it can actually be a great beverage to serve alongside a meal.
It doesn’t matter what meal or where you’re eating it either beer can make a great partner to food at any time or location when you make the right choice. But making the right choice can be a little tricky, unlike wine not many people know which beer combination works with which food.
But I can help you there! Below I’ve outlined some of the best beer and food combinations so whether you’re going out to eat or holding your own dinner party you’ll know which beer works with which food.
One of palest types of beer available light lagers usually have a bitter flavour but are very refreshing with a crisp aftertaste. This means they are the perfect beer to partner with more spicy dishes however you’ll want to be careful because light lager is better when paired with smaller meals and dishes like noodles, spicy salads/ sandwiches, and small light curries.
Made with wheat and barley these smooth beers come in many forms and usually have a fruity or citrus flavour to them. Wheat beers can be partnered with a lot of foods successfully including the previously mentioned spicy dishes. But wheat beers can also be paired with foods at the opposite end of the spectrum as well including desserts like fruit pastries.
These beers have a strong malty taste but they are usually accompanied by softer sweeter flavours to balance them. Amber Ales are the perfect palate cleanser which means they are great when paired with strong flavoured, hearty foods. Barbecue and smoked foods in particular pair well with Amber Ales and so do many other pub and bar favourites.
Dark lagers are made with roasted malts although they are usually blended with other ingredients for a sweeter taste. These aren’t sweet beers though they simply have a hint of sweetness which is combined with a nutty and caramel flavour.
Dark lagers are usually paired with meaty dishes and foods which has made them very popular in Europe. They are usually paired with classic pub dishes like beef burgers, sausages, and ribs. They also make a great partner to meaty pizzas as well.
Don’t let their colour fool you brown ales aren’t as bitter as most other medium beers they still have a strong taste but brown ales are better known for their chocolatey flavour. They also have hints of coffee and are usually compared to stouts and porters but what food do they pair well with?
Well, the answer to that one is pretty clear cut everything! Yes, brown ales might not seem like the most universal of beverages but they do work with pretty much everything. Meat dishes, fish, sushi and even more delicate light foods all pair well with brown ales.
With their dark, almost full black colouring stouts can look a little intimidating especially to people new to beers. However, stouts teach us that looks can be deceiving when it comes to beverages because they have a more smooth taste with hints of coffee and chocolate.
That is the traditional taste of stouts anyway because there is a wide variety available although they have a few things in common the main thing being the surprisingly low alcohol content. Stouts usually work well with both sweet foods like dark chocolate desserts and spicy barbecue dishes. Stouts are certainly surprising and they work just as well with fish and seafood as they do with sweet desserts.
Porters are a dark beer and the original London version offers a strong flavour and although your typical porter is now a more mild drink they still have a dark colour and roasted flavour. Thick and powerful but with a crisp finish porters have a great blend of flavours including coffee, caramel, and chocolate.
Porters are often joined together with stouts but their flavour although similar isn’t the same which means you’ll want to be more careful when it comes to what food you pair them with. Porters are classically served with game meats like venison and rabbit. However, they can also be paired well with barbecue dishes and rich cuisines like lobster.
So, that is a look at how you can pair individual types of beer with food. Beer might not be the drink of choice when it comes to meals out but when you choose the right beer it can make an excellent accompaniment to any dish.