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Beer Pairing with Reuben Sandwiches?

Mrs. Mousse will be making corned beef reubens for St. Paddy's day this year. There are so many strong flavors, I'm at a loss for beer pairing. Part of me thinks Pilsner's acid would cut into the fat nicely, but it might get lost amongst all the strong flavors. I'd normally serve beef with an amber or brown ale, but I'm not sure how that will match with the condiments. I don't like Guinness.

The sandwiches will include:
-corned beef piled high
-a mild gruyere
-classic sauerkraut
-homemade russian dressing (sour cream and relish base)
-rye bread

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. My go-to beers for food like this are always Belgian, either witbier or lambic (sour lambic, not Lindemans).

    Both of these styles are light in body, so they won't sit too heavily; palate-cleansing; refreshing; and citrusy.

    For my money, witbier is one of the greatest food beers ever, especially with stuff like that Reuben. It won't conflict with the sauerkraut, the cheese, or the russian dressing.

    The ones I like are Unibroue Blanche De Chambly, Blanche de Bruxelles, Avery White Rascal, Hitachino White Ale, Ommegang Witte, and Allagash White. I'm not a fan of New Belgium's Mothership Wit, or Lost Coast's Great White.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        I second Allagash White w/ the Reuben, great pairing!

        1. re: Josh

          Just ordered an Ommegang Witte to accompany my Reuben at Blind Tiger..psyched

        2. I like a German hefeweizen with my reubens. Franziskaner is my standby. The tang goes with the kraut and dressing and there is some acidity to cut through the fat.

          1. Call me pedestrian, but I'd grab a bottle of heineken. I think you want something fairly clean and crisp, so while I love belgians and weizens, I just don't know if the sweetness, spiciness and heaviness is what you want. its all personal taste and some folks dont like that skunkiness that I like in heineken, so just my $.02

            2 Replies
            1. re: chrisinroch

              Heineken is actually not skunky if you have it out of the can, on tap, or out of the 1.5 liter bottle. Any beer in green glass bottles can acquire that same skunky flavor by being exposed to UV rays.

              Also, I'm wondering if you've had witbier before, because I can't imagine anyone describing it as either sweet or heavy.

              1. re: Josh

                Right, my reply was to both your post and the post about hefeweizen. That is why i referenced both belgians and wiezens. I guess I should have been clearer.

            2. Bloody 'ell! If yur gonna celebrate St Padies Day, drink Irish, man, drink Irish. If you don't like Irish mother's milk, then at least do Mother McCrea a favor and drink Harps before ya go ta heaven and hear one!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                The Reuben sandwich is about as Irish as the last name Rabinowitz.

                1. re: Josh

                  Yea, I know that! But what do I tell the poor schmuck, drink Manischaevitz? Oye vaei! A Jewish/Irish fusion meal! Only in America! God bless Katz and the Blarney Stone!

              2. I second Passadumkeag. Guiness or Murphy's. As for Irish-Jewish fusion, remember Eamon de Valera!

                1 Reply
                1. re: mollydingle

                  Yeah, I dunno. Not really a supporter of basing food pairings on country of origin. It can lead to really inappropriate pairings. Wine isn't really chosen on this basis, nor should beer be.

                  Food pairing is about finding flavors that harmonize, or enhance. The roasted coffee flavors of stout, to my palate, have zero affinity for almost all the ingredients in a Reuben, with the exception of the rye bread. The sauerkraut and Russian dressing both have a pronounced sour component that is not going to find any sympathy in the flavors of a stout.