Great beer tastes even better when you surround it with the right things – family, friends, music, sports, and of course, food. The three main ingredients in beer—malt, hops and yeast—are the elements to consider when pairing.
Malt is sweet; it’s often roasted, which caramelizes its natural sugars. Beers like porters and stouts often draw out chocolate and coffee notes from the malt, which, along with their robust character, pair well with barbequed meats.
The variety of hops used to flavor beer can be bitter, floral, fruity and even spicy. If you are cooking spicy food, you will certainly enjoy an element of spice in your beer. I would highly recommend a hoppy India pale ale here.
The final ingredient is yeast. American wheat beers, Belgian style witbiers and hefeweizens generally have stronger yeast flavors and pair well with lighter foods, such as seafood and salads.
A few of my other pairing favorites include farmhouse ale with grilled kabobs, pale ale with burgers, a good pilsner with chicken and brown ale with pork or sausage. With endless flavors, aromas, and textures, you can find a beer to pair with practically any food. It’s hard to go wrong with a good beer and grilling on a warm summer day.
Until next time,
Coborn’s, Inc. Beer Category Manager