Many people still think of beer as something you drink at the beach and football games, but not at a nice meal. Wine has traditionally been the beverage of choice at dinner, but with the growth of craft beer, thankfully, that is changing. People have been drinking beer with food for centuries, it’s a modern phenomena that beer was seen as recreational, apart from dining.
Beer is food, and the simple fact is beer is more versatile than wine. There are foods where wines don’t pair well, like sweet desserts, but dozens of beer styles handle dessert easily. Beer has many characteristics that wine doesn’t have because its diverse ingredients. There are hundreds of varieties of malted barley, yeast strains and hops. Each can be combined in countless ways to showcase a vast flavor array. And then there is water. Every brewing regions’ water has different mineral contents which imprint its unique influence on beer.
We’re going to explore beer and food pairing in this new series of posts. We’ll spend the next couple of months learning about beer flavors, discussing pairing rules (and when to throw those rules out of the window), and suggesting food pairings for common beer styles. We hope you enjoy it as much as the off flavor series we recently finished.
The fun part of beer and food pairing is seeing what works. Everyone’s palate is different, so feel free to explore! Of course, some beers are more challenging than others, like a big, rich Barleywine. But some are easy, like a German Pilsner whose versatility helps it pair well with almost anything. But whatever beer you’re drinking, there are foods that can make it even better.