The Best Pairings for Your Craft Beer
Level up your beer-drinking experience by pairing your craft beer with the right food! Here are the best pairings:
- Hefeweizen: Perfect with light dishes such as salads, seafood and sushi. Its effervescence and spices enhance these flavors.
- IPA: Bold hop flavors work great with hot curries, barbecue and Mexican cuisine. The bitterness of the beer counteracts the heat, and its fruity and floral notes fit the spices.
- Stout: Go for rich and hearty foods like beef stew, grilled meats and chocolate desserts. Roasted flavors of the beer match the savory flavors, and its sweetness contrasts with the ingredients' bitterness.
- Pilsner: Pilsners go great with lighter dishes like fish and chips, burgers and pizza. Its crisp and refreshing nature cuts through heavy flavors, leaving a clean and refreshing finish.
Pro tip: Experiment to find your ideal pairing. Don't be scared to try new stuff and trust your taste buds!
Pairing Craft Beer with Meat
Pairing craft beer with meat is a great idea! To find the perfect match, think about the flavor of the beer and the dish. Matching the flavors creates a harmony between the two. Here are some of the best pairings for craft beer and meat. Enjoy!
Pairing Craft Beer with Beef
Pairing craft beer with beef is an art. It lets you explore different flavour profiles and textures, while making the dining experience better. The right pairing can make the craft beer and beef even better. But a bad pairing could make it taste really bad.
Here are some perfect pairings:
- Pale Ale and Grilled Steak. The hoppiness of pale ale and the flavour of steak work great together.
- Porter and Roast Beef. Porter beer balances out the meat's density with its creamy and roasted notes.
- IPA and Hamburger. Bitter notes of IPA go well with the charred flavours of beef burgers.
- Stout and Braised Beef. Stout's roasted coffee and chocolate notes blend perfectly with braised beef.
- Brown Ale and Meatloaf. Brown ale makes savoury meatloaf taste even better.
Tip – Play around to find your favourite combination. Satisfy your tastebuds!
Pairing Craft Beer with Chicken
Chicken is a great meat that works with various craft beers. For the perfect combo, think about the beer's flavor, aroma, and texture and how it fits with the chicken's taste and texture.
Here are some popular combinations:
- Light Lager: Grilled or fried chicken goes well with a light lager. Its fresh and crisp flavor pairs nicely with the juicy and tender chicken.
- Belgian Witbier: Roasted or baked chicken is great with a Belgian witbier. Its citrusy and spicy notes accentuate the chicken's savory and herbal taste.
- India Pale Ale (IPA): A spicy or tangy chicken dish goes nicely with an IPA. Its hoppy and bitter taste brings out the heat of the dish and enhances the chicken's flavor.
- Brown Ale: Grilled, smoked, or roasted chicken pairs well with a brown ale. Its nutty and caramel notes highlight the chicken's smoky and charred flavors.
- Porter or Stout: Chicken dishes with hearty and rich sauces or gravy go great with a porter or stout. Its coffee and chocolate notes balance the dish's richness and bring out the chicken's taste.
Pro Tip: Try different beer styles and chicken dishes to find your perfect combination.
Pairing Craft Beer with Pork
Pairing craft beer with pork is a delicious way to elevate your taste buds! Here's what to try:
- Porter: For pork dishes that are rich & fatty, like pulled pork or bacon-wrapped tenderloin – dark & roasted flavors work great.
- Wheat Beer: Sweet pork chops & roasted loin are complemented by the light & refreshing taste of wheat beer.
- IPA: Bitterness & citrusy notes in an IPA balance the fat in spicy pork dishes like carnitas & tacos.
- Stout: Roasted flavor & creamy texture of stout pairs well with hearty pork dishes.
- Pilsner: Light, crisp & refreshing pilsner is ideal for grilled sausages & smoked ribs.
Pro tip: The best craft beer pairing also depends on cooking method & seasoning. Experiment with different beer & pork dishes for exciting flavor profiles!
Pairing Craft Beer with Seafood
Seafood and craft beer can be a challenge to match. But, there are amazing combos that mix flavors for an amazing experience. Let's explore! With some knowledge and trying out different options, you can easily find the perfect match for your taste buds. Yum!
Pairing Craft Beer with Shellfish
Shellfish and craft beer are a match made in heaven! Here's some of the best pairings:
- IPA and oysters – IPA's bitterness and hops bring out the briny flavor of oysters.
- Wheat beer with shrimp – Light and refreshing wheat beer complements the sweetness of shrimp.
- Pilsner and clams – Pilsner's crispness balances the saltiness of clams.
- Brown ale with lobster – Brown ale's malty, nutty taste pairs well with lobster's sweet and buttery flavor.
- Stout and scallops – Stout's dark and complex notes contrast delicately flavored scallops.
Mix and match to find your favorite pairing. Bon Appetit!
Pairing Craft Beer with Fish
Trying to pair craft beer with fish? Go for lighter beers – they'll bring out the delicate flavors of seafood!
Here are some great pairings:
- Witbier with cod or snapper
- Pilsner and shrimp, oysters or calamari
- Saison with smoked salmon or lobster
- Pale Ale and grilled or broiled salmon
- Hefeweizen and sushi or sashimi
But beware – heavy, dark beers will overpower your seafood dishes! Pro tip: Play around with beer styles and seafood dishes to find your own unique pairing!
Pairing Craft Beer with Sushi
Treating your taste buds to craft beer and sushi can be a great experience. Here are some pairings to get you started:
- Pale Ales: Perfect for salty or savory sushi rolls like salmon or tuna.
- Pilsners: Crisp and low bitterness, great with cucumber or avocado rolls.
- IPAs: Bitter and full-bodied, ideal for spicy tuna rolls.
- Saisons: Their fruity and spicy notes partner well with citrusy or spicy rolls, like California or shrimp tempura.
- Wheat Beers: Light and sweet, great for sweet and savory rolls like eel or seafood nigiri.
Pairing Craft Beer with Vegetables
Veggies are a great match for craft beer! Their unique flavours and textures can add depth and complexity. Plus, the bitterness and acidity of craft beers can make veggie-based dishes even tastier.
Let's check out some of the top pairings:
Pairing Craft Beer with Leafy Greens
Craft beer and veggies? A match made in heaven! Here are some of the best combos for your craft beer and greens.
- Arugula: Peppery and nutty. Pairs great with an IPA or Pale Ale. Bitterness balanced.
- Spinach: Earthy flavor, tender texture. Belgian witbier or hefeweizen is a refreshing winner.
- Kale: Robust flavor. India Pale Ale or stout gives a bold, full-bodied taste.
- Romaine: Crunchy texture and slight bitterness. Amber ale or brown ale, for a smooth, malty finish.
Mix and match, to find your perfect pairing!
Pairing Craft Beer with Starchy Vegetables
Starchy veggies + craft beers = match made in heaven! Here are some tasty combos to try:
- Sweet Potato: Belgian-style ale + sweet potato fries. The sweetness of the potato blends with earthy hops and fruity yeast.
- Corn: Pale ale or IPA + corn on the cob. The maltiness of the beer balances the sweetness of the corn. Hops bring out its natural flavors.
- Butternut Squash: Brown ale or porter + roasted butternut squash. Roasty and nutty flavors bring out the sweetness of squash.
- Plantains: Robust stout or porter + fried plantains. Caramelized and slight bitter flavors come alive with beer.
Pro tip: The intensity of flavors matters when pairing beer and veg. Light-bodied beers pair best with delicate vegetables. Heavy-bodied beers go best with hearty veggies.
Pairing Craft Beer with Spicy Vegetables
Craft beer and spicy veggies are a match made in heaven! They complement each other and make the flavors of the dish pop. Here's what to pair them with:
- Jalapeno Poppers? Pilsner! Its crisp and refreshing taste will balance the heat.
- Stir Fry? Go for an IPA! Bitter tones contrast and enhance the spiciness.
- Hot and Sour Soup? Saison's fruity & spicy notes are perfect!
- Salsa? Wheat Beer! Its citrusy crispness will cleanse the palate after each spicy bite.
Pairing craft beer and spicy veggies will take your tasting experience to the next level. So the next time you're enjoying a spicy veggie dish, don't forget to grab the right brew!
Pairing Craft Beer with Dessert
Craft beer is a great way to savor different tastes and styles. Matching craft beer and dessert can be tricky – but it doesn't have to be! The right mix of flavor and sweetness can make dessert a real treat. Here are some top picks for craft beer and dessert pairings:
Pairing Craft Beer with Chocolate
Matching craft beer and chocolate is amazing! To get the best match, pick the correct beer style for different kinds of chocolate. Here are some of the most popular combinations:
- Milk Chocolate: A porter or stout is perfect to go with the creaminess of milk chocolate.
- Dark Chocolate: An IPA with fruity or nutty notes enhances the bitterness and flavors of dark chocolate.
- White Chocolate: A Dubbel or a brown ale with a sweet and malty flavor balances the sweetness of white chocolate.
- Chocolate with Nuts: A nut brown ale or a brown ale boosts the nutty flavor and balances the sweetness.
- Chocolate with Fruit: A fruit beer such as cherry or raspberry ale, or a sour beer, balances sweetness and adds a new taste.
Pro Tip: When pairing craft beer and chocolate, try to pick beers that contrast or complement the flavors of chocolate. Don't choose a beer that's too strong for the chocolate.
Pairing Craft Beer with Fruit
Pairing craft beer with fruit is a great way to bring out the best in both. Here are some pairing ideas:
- Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons go well with hoppy IPAs and pale ales. The bitterness of the hops balances the tartness of the fruit.
- Berries such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries work well with fruity wheat beers, sours, and lambics. The sweetness and acidity of the berries harmonizes with the funkiness of the beer.
- Stone fruits like peaches, plums, and cherries match Belgian-style beers. The sweetness of the fruit compliments the spiciness of the yeast.
- Tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and bananas pair nicely with fruity and spicy beers like saisons and hefeweizens.
- Experiment with different combinations of beer and fruit to find your perfect pairing!
Pairing Craft Beer with Pastries
Craft beer is a great beverage to match with both savory dishes and desserts. It can bring out the flavors in pastries and create a unique taste. Here are some top picks:
- Chocolate cake? A stout or porter beer is ideal, as the maltiness and chocolate notes go great together.
- Fruit tarts? Try a Belgian witbier, pale ale, or pilsner – it'll bring out the brightness of the fruit.
- Cheesecake? An amber ale or lager beer is ideal, as it complements the nutty and toasty flavors.
- Apple pie? Opt for a brown ale beer – it's spicy and full-bodied, and the caramel and roast flavors are perfect with the apple's natural sweetness.
Pro tip – Experiment and find your favorite beer-pastry pairing.
Pairing Craft Beer with Cheese
Craft beer can be enjoyed on its own, but also with foods! Cheese is a great pairing for craft beer. Here are tips for the best combo.
- First, match the intensity of the cheese with that of the beer. Pair a mild cheese with a lighter beer, and a strong cheese with a heavier beer.
- Consider the flavor of the beer and cheese. A nutty cheese will pair well with a brown ale, while a hoppy beer pairs well with a sharp cheddar.
- Try to create balance. If the cheese is tangy, a sweet beer can balance it out. If the beer is bitter, a creamy cheese can balance it out.
Together, craft beer and cheese can create a unique flavor. Let's discover the tastiest pairings!
Pairing Craft Beer with Hard Cheese
Elevate your drinking and snacking with craft beer and hard cheese pairings! Here are some great combos to try:
- Cheddar: Match the sharpness of cheddar with the bitterness of an IPA or Pale Ale.
- Gouda: Go for a malty Amber Ale or Brown Ale to match the nutty Gouda.
- Parmesan: Get fruity and spicy with a Saison or Dubbel for Parmesan.
- Blue Cheese: Roasted Stout beer pairs perfectly with full-flavored Blue Cheese.
- Experiment and discover your own faves! Pro Tip: Choose a cheese intensity that matches your beer.
Pairing Craft Beer with Soft Cheese
Pairing craft beer and soft cheese can make your tasting experience special. Here are some of the best combos:
- Wheat Beer and Brie: Wheat Beer's light and zesty taste works well with Brie's creamy and earthy notes.
- Pale Ale and Camembert: Pale Ale's hoppy flavor enhances the richness and butteriness of Camembert.
- Lager and Goat Cheese: The crisp and clean taste of lager brings out the tanginess and sharpness of goat cheese.
- Porter and Blue Cheese: Porter's dark and full-bodied flavour pairs with the bold and pungent taste of blue cheese.
- IPA and Feta Cheese: IPA's bitterness complements the salty and tangy profile of feta cheese.
Pro tip: Balance the intensity of the beer and the strength of the cheese when trying new pairings. This will make the flavours of both the beer and cheese stand out.
Pairing Craft Beer with Blue Cheese
Pairing craft beer and blue cheese is a great way to experience their unique tastes and textures. Here are the best beer and blue cheese pairings:
- IPA and Roquefort: Bold, hoppy IPAs combine amazingly with strong, tangy Roquefort.
- Stout and Gorgonzola: Creamy, earthy Gorgonzola is the perfect match for rich, roasty Stouts.
- Belgian Tripel and Stilton: Sweet, spicy Tripels go well with tangy, crumbly Stilton.
- Brown Ale and Bleu d'Auvergne: Nutty, caramel Brown Ales pair perfectly with pungent, creamy Bleu d'Auvergne.
- Wheat Beer and Danish Blue: Light, crisp Wheat Beers are ideal with creamy, mildly pungent Danish Blue.
Pro Tip: When pairing beer and cheese, it's essential to consider the intensity of both in order to achieve a balanced flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best pairings for IPA craft beers?
A: Strong and spicy foods such as Indian curries, Mexican dishes, and Thai cuisine are great companions to IPAs. The bitterness of the beer brings out the flavors of these dishes.
Q: Which types of craft beer pair well with seafood?
A: Light and crisp beer such as pilsners, lagers, and wheat beers pair well with seafood. They complement the flavor of seafood without overpowering it.
Q: What are the best food pairings for stouts and porters?
A: Stouts and porters pair well with strong and flavorful foods such as chocolate, barbecue, smoked meats, and roasted vegetables.
Q: Are there any foods that do not pair well with craft beer?
A: Foods that are too sweet or too acidic can clash with the flavor of the beer. Also, some seafood such as oysters and clams may not pair well with beer depending on the style of the brew.
Q: What type of beer goes well with cheese?
A: Beers that have a malty and nutty taste like Belgian ales and brown ales are great to pair with cheese. Aged cheddar, blue cheese, and Parmesan pair well with these beers.
Q: Can craft beer be paired with desserts?
A: Yes, craft beer pairs well with desserts that are not too sweet, such as dark chocolate, caramel, or fruit-based desserts. Belgian ales and stouts are great options for dessert pairings.