How to Pair 12 Beers With Food
If you're at a fancy restaurant and want to order a nice wine to pair with your entree, you consult the sommelier. But what if you want a beer instead? It might not enjoy the high status that wine has in the culinary world, but it can be remarkably food-friendly if you know how different styles interact with other flavors. Learning how to pair beer with a meal can bring out the best in both.
Malt-heavy with a dry finish, red ales tend to pair best with savory meat dishes that pack lots of flavor. Grilled, roasted, and smoked meats usually work well. But avoid serving red ale alongside particularly spicy dishes -- Mexican, Thai, Indian -- as they might overwhelm the beer.
Favoring malted wheat in place of malted barley, hefeweizens have a relatively sweet profile that complements the salinity of richer seafood and pork dishes. Fried veal, roasted pork, and smoked salmon all work well with these brews. For a classic southern German breakfast, pair a hefeweizen with weisswurst (white sausage) and pretzels.
Less overwhelming than India pale ales, American pale ales are extremely versatile. They pair well with sandwiches, pizza, and spicier dishes like Mexican and Thai food. A good rule of thumb: If you're unsure which beer to order with your meal and want something a bit more complex than a lager, go for a pale ale.