What Goes Best with What? A Guide to Beer-Food Pairings

Eating and drinking usually go together and are synonymous with socializing. Though many consider beer as food, drinking is best paired with something edible. Pizza and beer is one of the all-time favorite pair, but pizza does not taste as good when eaten with Pilsner. Just like when a beer is drank with the correct beer glass, its taste is enhanced when paired with the correct snack or food. Here is a list of the most common beer-food pairings.

Pizza is best paired with an Amber Ale or Bock. Amber Ales are quite malty thus do not go well with sweet food.

Spicy foods such as Schezuan chicken, blackened redfish or super-hot Thai cuisines are best paired with Light or Golden/Blonde ales and light lagers since these beers lack “maltiness”. They work best as thirst-quenchers for torched palates.

For people with sweet tooth, Cream or Sweet Stout and Imperial Stout tastes best. These drinks are best paired with chocolates and are recommended for heavier desserts.

If you are a vegetarian, you’ll best enjoy your dish with Weiss, Witbier or Dunkelweiss. If you want to taste the yeast remnants in these beers, it is best to stick with lighter food with more subtle fare. If you prefer a lighter, crisper version, go with a filtered Kristal Weissbier.

Bitter, pale ale, and German/Bohemian pilsners can kill your taste buds when paired with many foods, but they make perfect pair for fried seafood, because the hoppiness and maltiness in these beers cut through grease, or anything with vinegar as a main ingredient.

Hamburgers and sausages go well with English or American Brown Ale whilst, a hoppy pilsner delectably enhances the flavor of a firm fish or shellfish.

Salad lovers cannot go wrong with fruit beers such as Belgian Lambics where as fanatics of cheese ought to choose Belgian Dubbel or Tripel.

Vienna lager/Oktoberfest/Märzen, Dark Lager, and Bock each stand up to the strong flavors of sauce-based meat dishes and thus are recommended to be paired instead with pretzels, mustard and sauerbraten. Hearty foods on the other hand like barbeque and stew go best with Porter, Dry or Oatmeal Stout.

Old Ale and Barley wine has the most tendencies to overpower food and is best served alone.

But don’t just match like with like. Although it’s good to stick with what is traditional and what most of us have been used to, at times it pays off to experiment. You’ll never know if you try to mix and match the best taste might just come out from the unexpected combination.

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