Pairing Craft Beer – A Foodies Delight

Beer pairing should never be pretentious. Instead, it should be a fun way to mix your favorite drinks with your favorite foods. While there really are no rules, here’s some combinations that provide a little insight into the best flavors and cuisines to enjoy with each beer.

Hefeweizen with Fish Tacos

A hefeweizen’s warm body is perfect for absorbing mild fish such as snapper, flounder, mahi-mahi, or cod. Traditionally served with lime, the citrus in the tacos tastes great with the light sweetness of the beer, taking the pairing to the next level.

Stout with a Blue Cheese Bacon Burger

Bold meets bold. Because of the strong, full bodied flavor a stout brings to the table, it runs the risk of overwhelming mellow tasting meals. Enter the blue cheese bacon burger. With the pungent flavor of the blue cheese with the hearty aromas of the ground beef and bacon, this burger doesn’t fall to the stout’s powers. Instead, it takes the beer on head to head in a flavor competition where the consumer always wins.

Dark Chocolate Porter with Pumpkin Pie

This pairing sees two rich flavors coming together for a unique treat. Porters have a bitter yet creamy flavor that works well with strong aromatics, such as the cinnamon and cloves used in pumpkin pie. Combined with the fact that pumpkin is used in several porters already, it’s easy to see why this mature dessert works.

Fruit Sour with Cheesecake

Nothing goes better with cheesecake than a fresh fruit ganache, except maybe a sour. Sours are similar to a cider, minus all the sweetness. They’re fruity, refreshing, and well, sour. This contrasts nicely with the rich, creamy quality of cheesecake, creating a delicious pallet juxtaposition. Use the same fruit in the beer as the ganache to tie the whole dish together!

IPA with Buffalo Wings

While this hoppy, bitter style can go well with a number of dishes, very few beers pair with spicy food the way an IPA can. A classic IPA is sharp enough to wash away the heat, but also simple enough to avoid clashing with an already potent flavor. Mix that with its ability to counterbalance the density of fried foods, and you have a perfect game night snack.

Pilsner with Mac n’ Cheese

The perfect “stay in” combo when you just want to relax and appreciate the simple tastes in life. Pilsners tend to be on the tame side, with just a slight hoppy taste and a crisp finish that makes for easy drinking. Paired that with an easy to eat (and make) meal like mac n’ cheese, and you’ll be in snack food heaven.

Brown Ale with...Anything!

A beer that can practically do it all. Brown ale is a nutty, malty beer that often carries notes of caramel, toffee and chocolate. With a medium body and only a small amount of hops, this welcoming ale is great for experimenting. Salty foods, salad, barbecue, and even ice cream can all make for a great match. It truly is hard to go wrong, so get creative!


By Ruben Estrada