When you drink a cold beer you want it to be delicious, just like the food you eat. This Foodie Friday we share with you some tips to make pairing your favorite beer with your favorite food dishes simple. Consider these tips when attempting to create perfect harmony for your next meal.
1. Match flavor likenesses - If you plan on having a light dinner you will probably want a light beer to accompany the dish. If you are craving a heavier meal with lots of deep flavors, you would match that with a more intense flavored beer. Imagine if you planned on having a light summer salad, washing it down with a thick stout might not be a good fit. A citrus flavored hefe might be more the taste you desire. Try to create flavor harmony. Beer happens to carry a lot of similar flavors to food. So if you have a nutty brown ale, good chance it will pair perfectly with some delicious rich cheeses or a grilled steak.
2. Complimenting or contrasting flavors? - Decide whether you will compliment your meal with the beer, or have contrasting flavors between the two. An example of contrasting flavors would be mixing a hoppy IPA with a spicy dish. The hops in your beer will actually turn the heat up a notch or two. Whereas a sweeter beer will help balance out the spicy heat in the food making it a complimentary pairing. We know this sort of goes against tip 1, but as you will notice it is fun to try different things when pairing food and beer. There is no right answer for your personal preference, so have fun with your pairing attempts.
3. Tis the season for delicious beer – When pairing your food and beer why not pair them with the current season? In the middle of the summer it tastes great to pair a light meal with a light(er) beer. During the cold winter months, crack open a full flavored hearty beer with a warm hearty meal, grab a seat by the fire place and enjoy time with good friends.
4. Beer as an ingredient? You bet! - Dont be afraid to use beer as an ingredient when cooking your favorite meals. Be creative. You can add some of your favorite beer to a beer batter for homemade fish tacos or jalapeno poppers, use a sweet full flavored brown ale to marinate a steak or one of our personal favorites which is boiling brats in a tasty brew with some spices. The flavors will definitely compliment each other and it will work towards creating that perfect pairing.
5. Start small and then go big - Every one needs to start somewhere. So why not try some classic pairings and move on from there? A few classics you could try would be a nice stout or scotch ale and some chocolate, an IPA with a curry dish or even your favorite pale with a really good burger. Another very well known pairing is stout with oysters.
As we said earlier be creative and have fun with your pairings. Not every combination will be a perfect fit but that is part of the fun. Once you start putting the two flavors together you will be creating your own perfect pairings in no time. Who knows – your pairing might be the next classic. Have a great beer and food pairing? Share it with us on our facebook page!