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Jan 18, 2002 02:35 PM

What food(s) don't go with beer?

  • d

A friend publishes a newsletter for (mostly) craft beer industry people. In his recent issue he asked experts (I should say "alleged experts" since I'm one of them) to name foods that don't go well with beers. The link below will take you to the selections of the "experts". I think food people might have a different take, so I ask you, "What foods don't go well with beer?"


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  1. Chocolate-chip cookies. That is very nasty.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Bill Bock

      Second chocolate chip cookies, also chocolate generally and breakfast.

      1. re: Tom Hall

        Hmmm, many people I know swear by dark chocolate with a nice porter. I've had dark chocolate with a sweet stout, and that works pretty well, as does Guinness over vanilla ice cream.

        1. re: Deven Black

          Guinness isn't beer - it's bread in liquid form - so it doesn't count. :-P

          As for what doesn't go with beer - all of the foods mentioned don't go well with the first beer. By the time you get to the fourth or fifth beer, all of them go just as well as any other. And by the time you get to the tenth or so pint, they all go perfectly well in reverse thrust mode.

          (Well, unless you're like me, in which case this is not a problem.)

          1. re: PRSMDave

            If you like your food and your beer, no problem. The other night I had a Bells Kalamazoo Stout w/some great Beef Salad/yum + Pananage Curry in Woodside. I've read all the aricles that say drink a light/"international" beer w/spicy food. Screw 'em. The beers usally mentioned are are for mowing lawns. I don't mind if the "flavors clash". I like my beer and food to have big flavors., though I'll admit to a hankering for subtle flavors on occassion.

            1. re: Ivan Stoler

              Oysters and stout seem counterintuitive to many, but they're a heavenly combination.

              Strong stouts are common in many hot areas of the world, and those areas generally have spicy foods.

          2. re: Deven Black

            Dark chocolate and Lindemans Framboise are mighty yummy together.

            1. re: Deven Black

              Yup. A guy I know adores beer with dark-chocolate S'Mores. I told him I'd give it a try sometime ... when pigs fly.


              1. re: Cats

                " Yup. A guy I know adores beer with dark-chocolate S'Mores. I told him I'd give
                it a try sometime ... when pigs fly."

                You really need to be more adventurous! As I often say to my young son, how are you going to know you don't like it unless you try it?

                1. re: Deven Black

                  Michael Jackson tells a story about a supermarket beer tasting he was conducting some years back. A person told him, 'I don't like dark beers.' He asked, 'What kind of dark beer don't you like?' The response: 'I don't know. I've never tried one.'

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    I'm still amazed at the number of people who, despite the great amount of beer education done by you, MJ, and countless others, still don't understand that the color of beer has almost nothing to do with how it tastes. When people came into my pub and said they didn't like dark beer I'd tell them to close their eyes, and I'd pour them a Newcastle Brown and have them taste it. They all liked it. Then I had them open their eyes as I told them that judging beer by color was about as efficient as judging people by color.

                    1. re: Deven Black

                      Is the heaviness of dark beers psychological also? I love dark beer, but since I often drink beer to be refreshed, I usually find dark beer too heavy. Boddington's is the non American beer I like if I can find it. Is there a dark beer that is not much heavier than Boddingtons?

                      1. re: jacob pine

                        Heaviness in beer is sometimes a state of mind. Newcastle Brown, for example, is to my mind less heavy than Boddington's, but their flavor profiles are completely different. Boddington's is much more bitter than Newcastle Brown.

                        I think you can take something like a Beck's Dark, or even better a Michelob Dark (yes, there is such an animal) and taste it along side a Boddingtons or Pilsner Urquell. Which is less heavy? Which is more refreshing?

                        The color of beer is often more marketing decision than a flavor consideration. All that really matters is taste, which is why I would have customers taste beer with their eyes closed. I didn't want any prejudices or expectations to interfere with the tongue.

                        1. re: Deven Black
                          Janet A. Zimmerman

                          Deven, I thought I remembered reading that dark roasted malts don't convert to alcohol as completely as the lighter roasts, so there is more starch left in the brew, which can make it seem "heavier." Of course it doesn't take much dark malt to make a beer dark, so it's not necessarily a consideration in all dark beers.

                          1. re: Deven Black

                            Heck, Draught Guinness is a pretty light-bodied beer, and low in alcohol. People are always amazed when they learn that it contains significantly less alcohol than Bud.

                            1. re: Jim Dorsch

                              Yes, and that just goes to prove what I've been saying, you can't tell anything much from the color of the beer: not taste, not body, not alcohol content!

          3. For me, sweets in general.

            Many of my friends do not like beer at all while eating, no matter what is being served.

            I on the other hand, find beer is a better match w/the foods I eat than wine is.

            I found it interesting that one of the posters in your link stated Pizza. For me Pizza and beer is like my wife and I, a terrific combination!!

            11 Replies
            1. re: Sweet Willie

              Fine Chocolate goes great with Belgian Trappist and Abbey ales and fruit lambics such as a framboise lambic.

              1. re: The Rogue

                yes I've heard that, just did not work for me.

              2. re: Sweet Willie

                I've actually had a couple of great successes pairing beer with dessert. At a local brewpub, I pressed the waitress what beer she though would go well with their lemon cheesecake fore dessert. She brought out a brew they call Windstorm Wheat, an american style hefeweizen. The two went together unbelievably well, both food and drink playing off of the other's highlights to create an incredible experience.

                Then there is the beer float. YUM. Beer floats are definitely something to try. It's just like a root beer float, except with real beer instead. Don't bother with Bud or Miller- get something with a little more body, amber ale is one of my favorites. Gently plop in a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, and enjoy. I'm not kidding. It's one of the weirdest combinations I've heard of, and definitely one of the very best.

                1. re: JK Grence

                  I like the idea of stout with coffee ice cream. Haven't tried it though. Does that sound appealing to anyone besides me?

                  1. re: Pat Hammond

                    Sounds to me like some stouts might need a bit of maple syrup...

                    1. re: ironmom

                      In recent years brewers have been aging stouts in bourbon barrels, with some pretty impressive results.

                      1. re: ironmom

                        I don't recall who made it but a couple of years ago some beer saavy friends and I were very impressed with a maple porter we found.

                        1. re: Deven Black

                          I've never had maple porter, but I certainly could be persuaded! I enjoy porter very much. As a much younger woman, I used to drink it with a generous splash of cream stirred in. These days it would have to be skimmed milk. No thanks to that. pat

                          1. re: Deven Black

                            I once had a vanilla porter that was quite tasty.

                        2. re: Pat Hammond

                          I've had Guinness over vanilla ice cream, and there is a place in Brookloyn called Taste of the Tropics (1249 Utica Avenue @ Ave. D 718-629-3582) that often sells a "Guinness Ice Cream" that is vanilla blended with Guinness. I'm not sure, but they may be wholesale only.

                          I've also had an intensely coffee flavored porter over chocolate ice cream and that worked well, too.

                          1. re: Deven Black

                            I guess my "vision" isn't so far fetched after all. I think I'll have to try it. And thank you for mentioning Taste of the Tropics, and for the address andphone number too. Pat

                    2. Well, I think desserts in general pretty much dont go well with beer for me. Another generality is breakfast foods, which can also be spread to eggs. I dont think beer and omelets or quiche is such a hot item. In fact, as I think about this, I think beer and most milk products, including cheese probably dont work so well together.

                      Italian food also does not scream beer to me. I'm not talking about a party where someone makes lasagne or eggplant parm, and you drink beer with it. But in an Italian restaurant, or in Italy, I dont think I would order beer.

                      Of course, this is really a question of taste. Some people do drink beer for breakfast. When I was a kid, my father would tease me relentlessly for drinking milk or chocolate milk (my childhood drink of choice) with Chinese food. What can I say, i like what I like.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jake pine

                        " and most milk products, including cheese probably dont work so well together."

                        The Ploughman's lunch: Bread, pickled onions, Cheddar & a pint!

                        1. re: jake pine

                          I think one of the finest breakfasts I've ever had was an omelet with blue cheese and pear...accompanied by a belgian beer.

                          1. re: jake pine

                            Hmm.. I don't know about that. What could be better than hitting the pub late late late.. (or very early morning depending on your point of view) and having a pub breakfast!

                            Sausage or bacon, hash browns, eggs, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato (no stewed ones, thanks) and maybe some toast and preserves.. and black pudding if you're brave!

                            All washed down with a pint of Guinness!

                          2. Easy, Presidential Pretzels...

                            1. This all depends, of course, on how broadly you define beer. If you take it in all its varieties, then it is hard to come up with anything that doesn't go with beer....Sweets go with some types of beer, I would say some of the lambics; eggs....maybe a porter or stout?

                              Chocolate, of course, goes with Black Chocolate Stout

                              French food with some winey beer.

                              Hmmm.... A jelly omelet? Hard to think of a beer I'd eat with that (of course, a jelly omelet is kinda repugnant in and of itself).