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Beer and Food Pairings


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Nothing like pairing good beer with good food; it's just pure magic when the flavors marry and dance together in the mouth. Over the years I've discovered, and been told about some really good beer food pairings, and I want to hear about yours. Here are some of mine, along with some pairings suggested by some beer friends whose palates I really respect:

Red Hook IPA and an Italian hoagie (from Mike Gates, Haddonfield, NJ)

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale and a plate of nachos

Victory Hop Devil and Thai curries

Maredsous 8 and creme brulee (Bob Rescinito, Oklahoma City, OK)

Saranac Caramel Porter and Amish sourdough pretzels

Yuengling Porter and beef stew

Guinness Stout and oysters

Victory Prima Pils or Pilsner Urqell and Sechuan Chinese food

Sierra Nevada Celebration and a thick grilled steak

Spaten Oktoberfest and pork chops braised with apples and cabbage

Rolling Rock and pizza

Tsing Tsao and red gravy Italian, like lasagna and/or linguine and meatballs

Troegs Troeginator Dopplebock and braised lamb shank over polenta

Troegs Mad Elf and Christmas cookies!

One Guy Brewing Cinnamon Boldy and apple fritters (Guy Hagner, Berwick, PA)

OK, I've started the list, what are YOUR favorite pairings?

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I usually find that the beer from a specific country matches quite nicely with the cuisine from that same country.

Nastro Azzuro for example is great with cured meats and cheese.

One exception for me is Innis & Gunn (Scottish) which has a great sherry flavour to it, goes brilliantly with Spanish tapas etc.

Tristan Stephenson - The Wild Drink Blog

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Grolsch beer from Holland and a homemade Italian Hot Dog. Or, when I'm too lazy to make one, either an Italian Hot Dog (from a place that specializes in them) or a spicier beef dog (as opposed to a milder German pork and beef dog) from Jerry's or Amazing Hot Dog. The balanced, slightly hoppy flavor of Grolsch goes well with the spices in a kosher style beef dog.

My favorite indulgence is a quality beer and a quality hot dog.

John the hot dog guy

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I have been mulling over the idea of hosting a dinner party themed on beer and food pairings. At the company Christmas party last weekend I had a conversation with a coworker who says beer is fine before dinner but it must be wine with food as it is the only drink that enhances the flavours of the dish. I have been trying to think of which beer styles to go with what plates. I will be following this thread to see what great pairings people suggest.

On the tentative menu so far...

A light lager with a salad

Guiness and oysters

English Bitter with squash soup

A hoppy IPA with a full flavoured curry

Coffee Porter and brownies

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My favorite holiday lunch (or even dinner on a night when I need a break from complicated food) used to be butter and Stilton on a plain Panzanella cracker, a perfectly ripe pear (like Royal Riviera if I could get one or twelve) and a bottle of Newcastle Brown. Now I'm into Deschutes Black Butte, so I would go with that!

And not to leave my other favorite beer out, Rattlesnake Beans over rice and Deschutes Mirror Pond.

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OK, I'll bite: what are rattlesnake beans? And how do you prepare the dish you're suggesting with Mirror Pond?

On my blog, beer friend Tom Cizauskas reminded me of a beer pairing we discussed many years ago:

Hefeweisens and Indian cuisine

I will have to revisit that pairing!

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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  • 1 month later...
IPA with Indian food - probably already mentioned

IPA with barbecue - something like BBQed brisket, fries and beans

I think IPA goes with just about everything.

Actually I'm drinking an IPA even while I'm typing this note!

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  • 2 weeks later...
At the company Christmas party last weekend I had a conversation with a coworker who says beer is fine before dinner but it must be wine with food as it is the only drink that enhances the flavours of the dish.

Silliness.

Beer has such a cornucopia of possible flavors. If anything, beer is better paired to food than wine. Temperature is a consideration, but there are a number of beers that benefit from some warmth, if not a considerable amount.

Speaking more in generalities I like to pair:

Spicy - West Coast IPAs or Pilsners, best bitters, Bocks, Koelsch

Steak - Brown ales, porters, altbier

Pizza- Best Bitter, Munich Helles - Just about anything

Salad- Saison, Biere de garde, American hoppy pales

Fish - Pilsners, sours

Pasta - Tough one... would depend on the pasta - I'd probably go amber/brown/altbier ales for tomato based sauces, and helles or pilsner for lighter stuff

Dessert - For chocolate stuff.... imperial stouts or porters - any darker beer with a higher specific gravity than normal - (Gravity is a measure of density, in beer, higher gravity beers have more sugar leftover that yeast didn't eat)

For fruity type stuff, there are a number of fruit based lambics or even fruit beers that would be fine

Edited by theisenm85 (log)
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I just drank a Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast last night and I can assure you that the next time I make breakfast for dinner I will certainly pair it with one of these. Tasted just like strong black coffee beer. All I needed was some bacon and waffles to enjoy it with.

Edited by avant-garde (log)

"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

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  • 1 month later...

Unibrau Trois Pistoles and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale and Sushi

Imperial IPAs and Aged Sharp Cheddar

Lindemann's Pomme Lambic and Chicken Liver Pate

Imperial Stout with a salad of Arugula, American Blue Cheese, Figs, and Balsamic reduction

Saison DuPont and New York Style Pizza

Berlinerweisse and Egg on Toast

Any IPA and White Cheddar Cheezits

And I've always thought the Guinness and Oyster thing was much overrated. Try Boddington's or another nitrogen type pub ale. The burnt, roasted notes in the Guinness malt over power the delicate flavors in the oyster leaving the nitrogen as the only redeeming quality.

RM

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  • 3 weeks later...

A seasonally appropriate addition -

Maibock is *shockingly* good with pureed root vegetables (turnips, parsnips, etc.).

Hat tip to Garrett Oliver for the recommendation in the appendix of the brewmaster's table. I would never have thought of it myself.

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  • 4 months later...

Here's a link for The Brewmaster's Table:

http://www.amazon.com/Brewmasters-Table-Di...50998723&sr=8-1

One of my real joys is finding the perfect beer to pair with cheese.

I like Chimay with Brie, Guinness with a good sharp cheddar, Czech pilsner with raclette, etc.

Pairing beer with dessert is also fun, and can bring a few "hopeless wine snobs" around to the wonders of beer.

Chocolate and Murphy's Stout. Chocolate and any fruit lambic. Any fruit with a super-hoppy IPA.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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  • 2 months later...

Had a bacon cheeseburger with a pint of Shakespeare stout last weekend. A little heavy, but man was that good.

I also like to drink Full Sail Session with some curry, but be careful, the spicier the curry, the faster the beers disappear.

Gueze and moules frites is a classic, too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I lunched today at Supper, a restaurant in Philadelphia, and the presence of one particular beer on the menu dictated my choice of sandwich.

Before I saw the beer list I was dithering among a lamb pastrami sandwich, a house-made hot dog, and a pork belly reuben. When I saw the beer list my eyes immediately went to Fallen Apple, a cider-beer brew that demanded to be eaten with pork. So I went for the reuben. The open-faced sandwich on Jewish rye included apple as one of its components, along with Thousand Islands dressing, sauerkraut, gruyere and the gelatinous, fatty pork belly. Freshly fried, greasless "pastrami" flavored potato chips finished off the plate.

The beer (actually a cream ale, like my other favorite Wisconsin brew, Spotted Cow) comes from Furthermore Beer in Spring Garden, though it's produced under contract by Sand Creek way up north in Black River Falls. This year's version uses tart apples from a local orchard and adds the freshly pressed cider to the fermentation. The end product is almost as much cider as beer, and reminds me of scrumpy from Devonshire, though a tad less alcoholic at 6.2 abv.

While a lot of folks say they don't like fruit beers, I think this would make converts of many. It's definitely full of sour apple-ness, but the cream ale adds balance. Not a session beer, but great with the right food. Think pig, the more rustic the better.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Thanksgiving is coming up. My personal choice, besides homebrews, is Ommegang Hennepin Saison. Any other thoughts for the turkey?

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I don't know what type of beer would go well with turkey. Just because it's an American holiday, I usually stick with an American micro. Do you think a malty lager like Brooklyn Lager would pair off better than a lighter pilsner style? Give me suggestions on what's considered an appropriate beer for a turkey dinner. Thanks.

John the hot dog guy

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