Top 7 Delicious Beer and Food Pairings to Try
The power of pairing the right beer with the right food cannot be underestimated. Most people wouldn’t think of pairing a glass of rich red wine with a plate of light, white fish. In the same way, certain beers and foods clash and consuming them together results in a flavor imbalance that can turn you off of both the beer and the food.
On the other hand, certain beers and foods are simply made for each other. Ideal beer and food pairings can be complementary, cleansing, or contrasting. Each of these pairing types has its own unique benefits that can help you develop a deeper appreciation for both the beer you’re drinking and the food you’re eating.
Complementary beer and food pairings have flavors that are similar and therefore go well together. In complementary pairings, neither the beer nor the food overpowers the other to create a well-balanced flavor.
1. Dark Lager and Strong Cheese
Virtually any beer complements cheese and cheese-y foods by lightening up the fattiness of the cheese without masking any of its flavor. Dark lager pairs particularly well with strong cheese.
The deep, rich flavors of dark lager beers complement the flavors in stronger cheeses that can otherwise be overwhelming. The smooth texture and low level of bitterness in dark lagers also helps prevent the rich flavor of the beer from overpowering the flavors in the cheese.
2. Pale Fruity Beer and Fruit Tart
If you’re eating a fruit tart—or any fruit-based dessert, really—pair it with a pale, fruity beer. Pale beer won’t overpower the fruity desserts and will allow their light sweetness to shine through.
The subtle fruity flavors of fruit-infused beers have similar flavor profiles to fruit, but are not powerful enough to overwhelm your palate and prevent you from enjoying the flavor of your dessert.
Cleansing beer and food pairings have flavors that counterbalance each other to refresh your palate in between bites—or dishes—so you can keep appreciating the flavor of your food as you eat it.
3. Sour Beer in Between
If you’re looking for a palate cleanser in between dishes, sour beer is the perfect choice. The subtle tart, acidic taste of sour beer resets your taste buds in between different foods.
Sip a sour beer to cleanse your palate between separate dishes within the same meal— especially dishes with flavors that clash.
4. Pizza and Pilsner
Pizza and other ultra-greasy foods—like French fries—pair well with pilsner beers. Pilsner beers are light, clear, hoppy beers that tend to be heavily carbonated.
The intense carbonation and light, hoppy flavor of these beers serve to undercut the oil in greasy foods to settle your stomach and counterbalance the heaviness of these foods.
Contrasting beer and food pairings are the exact opposite of complementary pairings. Instead of similar flavors, contrasting beers and foods have flavors that are nothing alike. Their opposing flavors counterbalance each other to prevent either the beer or the food from overwhelming your taste buds.
5. Oysters and Stout
Oysters and stout both have very distinct flavors that can overpower your senses when consumed individually. Although they are both rich and strong, the flavors of oysters and stouts are different enough to counterbalance each other nicely when paired together.
When you pair oysters with stout in the same meal, the strong, salty flavor of the oysters and the robust, chocolatey flavor of the stout both shine through clearly without muddling each other or overwhelming your taste buds.
6. Flavorful Oktoberfest and Poultry
Oktoberfest beers tend to be packed full of flavor. Poultry, on the other hand, is very mild and can be boring by itself.
Together, the rich, distinctive flavor of Oktoberfest beers and the subtle flavor of poultry —like chicken or turkey—combine to create a taste that is flavorful enough to hold your interest without being too overwhelming.
7. Pale Ale and Spicy Asian Fusion
Spicy Asian fusion food—like particularly hot and flavorful Thai or Indian dishes—are delicious but can be very overwhelming on their own, especially for those with sensitive palates.
The light body of pale ale can prevent ultra-spicy food from overwhelming your taste buds and allow you to enjoy each bite of your meal. Its subtle flavor helps you better appreciate your spicy food’s flavor beyond its heat.
The selection of award-winning beers this brewing company serves gives you plenty of options for exploring different beer styles. All of the beers at Inland Wharf Brewery are exceptional in flavor and aroma. When paired with the snacks the brewery offers or any of the food from the food trucks that are in almost constant attendance at this brewing company, these beers help you better appreciate the flavors of both the beer and the food.