You can get started pairing beer with food right now if you want. There’s nothing to it, in fact I bet you have been doing it quite successfully for years whether you realize it or not. Have you ever had beer with pizza? Bingo! How about beer with burger and fries? That’s a good match, too. These are classic examples of beer and food pairings for a good reason. They taste great together. So you really don’t need to wait for some beer geek to write an blog about food pairings before you start because your beer intuition is working just fine. I am here to help out with the more challenging pairings like spicy Thai, savory stews or even dessert. Beer isn’t just for pizza and burgers anymore.
Rule of Thumb.
You have probably heard something similar to “red wines with red sauces and white wines with white sauces”. There is a similar rule of thumb for beer and it is light dishes should be paired with light (as in delicate or light bodied not diet) beers. Heavier dishes should be paired with heavier or full bodied beers that have big flavors and big aromas. This is a great place to start when you are learning to pair beer with foods. Let’s say you are having a lightly grilled and lightly seasoned fish. A good beer pairing for this meal would be a beer that doesn’t overwhelm your palate like a wheat beer. If you decided to quaff a mighty double IPA with this meal chances are you wouldn’t taste much of your fish because the beer will have fatigued your taste buds. Conversely, if you were enjoying a heavy flavorful meal like smoked or barbecued meat you would want to pair that with a heavier more flavorful beer just so you could taste what you are drinking. Otherwise you may just as well drink water.
If you use the rule of thumb from above and reference the quick start guide you can get started right away pairing your favorite beer styles with some tasty dishes. Remember you are just eating and drinking beer so don’t forget to have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. The last thing the world needs is a pretentious beer prick.