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What foods go with beer?

thymetobake Feb 11, 2013 01:57 PM

I've always hated beer so I've never thought about it with food. But today I tried Schiner Blonde and loved it.

What do you like to eat with beer. Would love some ideas from simple to fancy and everything in between.

  1. pinehurst Feb 11, 2013 02:00 PM

    I'm more of a wine-or-cocktail with food girl, but this site looked pretty good to me.

    http://www.brew-monkey.com/articles/p...

    I'm sure some of the folks on the Beer board will chime in.

    1. biondanonima Feb 11, 2013 02:15 PM

      I find that beer is actually very food-friendly, much more so than wine in some ways. I tend to prefer it with hearty/savory/salty dishes, but it really depends on the beer - there are beers that will go well with some foods and not others, just like there are wines.

      1. juliejulez Feb 11, 2013 02:20 PM

        Nothing better than a beer and a big fat juicy cheeseburger.

        1. greygarious Feb 11, 2013 02:27 PM

          Pizza.
          Pork products, especially sausages and chops.
          Chinese food.

          1. g
            GH1618 Feb 11, 2013 03:54 PM

            A sardine sandwich.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GH1618
              t
              Tom34 Feb 11, 2013 05:05 PM

              One for each bite :)

            2. v
              Violatp Feb 11, 2013 03:59 PM

              Like Pinehurst, I'm all about wine and cocktails, but if I'm having barbecue? Gotta be a beer.

              1. C. Hamster Feb 11, 2013 04:00 PM

                what foods DON'T go well with beer?

                10 Replies
                1. re: C. Hamster
                  JerryMe Feb 11, 2013 04:25 PM

                  Ditto! I love beer w/ hot foods - wings, pizza, nachos, etc. Name it.

                  1. re: C. Hamster
                    t
                    Tom34 Feb 11, 2013 05:03 PM

                    My wife would say none!

                    1. re: C. Hamster
                      The Professor Feb 13, 2013 12:47 PM

                      @C. Hamster:

                      RIGHT!
                      Beer goes well with just about everything even desert (especially chocolate deserts)...Beer is a very unpretentious beverage despite clumsy and downright comical attempts lately at dressing it up in a tuxedo.

                      There are more "styles" of beer to choose from these days and really what it boils down to is that any beer you like would pair with almost any food you like. Some may not agree with certain pairings, but in the end individual taste rules.

                      One of my personal favorites to accompany beer (for me, usually a Special Bitter or a porter, but almost any other beer is ok too) is a sandwich of Leiderkranz or Limburger cheese with slices of Vidalia or Maui onions on rye bread.
                      It's heaven, I tell ya...

                      1. re: The Professor
                        Josh Feb 14, 2013 01:24 AM

                        Pairing food with beer (or wine) is pretty simple to do given a basic understanding of flavor profiles. To say that any beer pairs with almost any food is kind of ridiculous, unless you don't understand the hows and whys of food/beverage pairing.

                        For example, dessert wines are sweet because when they are consumed with a sweet dessert they taste less sweet, whereas on their own they're typically perceived as too sweet to drink. Pairing a sweet dessert with a minerally French chablis would be as ridiculous as pairing it with a gueuze.

                        Some people are picky about flavors harmonizing because they have really sensitive palates. If you're someone like that, then advice like "anything goes with anything" is really bad.

                        As an example, when I was first experimenting with wine I had about given up on it because I never found anything that tasted good with food. Finally I read a book that had a chapter on wine pairing and how it works, and once I had learned that it made all the difference in the world. Understanding the different flavor components is actually pretty important if you want to get the most out of pairing.

                        1. re: Josh
                          The Professor Feb 14, 2013 06:38 AM

                          Okay, your points are well articulated (as usual).

                          Still, there may be guidelines, but they're not hard and fast rules carved in stone. My main point (which I suppose I wan't very clear in stating) was to encourage experimentation with pairings and 'rules' be damned. I arrived at that precisely because I _am_ one of those folks to whom you refer, with a very sensitive palate.

                          In the end the real 'how and why' of it boils down to the fact that it's the individual's palate which determines whether a combination is right or wrong. If one stumbles upon a pleasing combination outside of the norm, then that combination can not be wrong.

                          1. re: The Professor
                            l
                            LStaff Feb 14, 2013 07:32 AM

                            I find the food and beer pairing crowd to be a bit pretentious in that they have these "rules" that should not be broken - and they like to call out people in forums for not knowing or breaking the proper rules - but its all based on theory. Sure there might be general guidelines of pairing certain flavors in food with certain styles of beers that MAY lead to good pairings. But anyone that has actually experimented outside these guidelines knows that there are some things that break the rules that make excellent pairings. IMO Sushi and IPA's are a match made in heaven...cue the theorists who say IPA's are too bold and will overpower the delicate fish. I say, well then you shouldn't pair powerful flavors like wasabi and pickled ginger either if that was really the case.

                            That said, I have not had a pairing of any beer with food (besides cheese) that has been so outrageously good that any of these guidelines really apply as rigidly as the theorists make them out to be. So as long as the beer and food flavors don't clash (which is usually from yeast/alcohol flavors, not type of malt or hops), all is good as long as it works for you.

                            IMO the best food and beer pairings happen when the beer is used to cook the food that it served with.

                            1. re: LStaff
                              Josh Feb 15, 2013 07:45 AM

                              I think calling them "rules" is a bit of a stretch, for precisely the reason you mention. But when you're starting off experimenting it's good to understand some basic guidelines for food/drink pairing, such as the effect of sweet desserts on sweet wine. If this was all completely bogus you wouldn't see the creation of the Cicerone program. Going to a restaurant that takes beer seriously as a food accompaniment, such as Gramercy Tavern in NYC, you'll see a beer list that is comprised primarily of food-friendly beers.

                              I could easily see the right IPA pairing very well with sushi. But it's not theoretical to observe that an IPA on the more aggressively bitter end of the spectrum, made with earthier hops vs. citrusy/floral hops, might very well overpower delicate fish flavors. We don't see real wasabi in sushi places here, but even the powdered mustard/horseradish concoction that goes by that name should be applied sparingly so it doesn't overwhelm the fish, and the ginger is used for cleansing the palate between different kinds of fish - it's not consumed as a condiment on top of the sushi.

                              High alcohol flavors can clash, as can yeast when you get into phenolic compounds, but hops can certainly clash if you have a beer that is very astringent from high levels of alpha acids.

                              All that said, one should be wary of beer pairings presented in restaurants or at special beer events. Almost all of these I've encountered have been badly done because the people doing the pairing are usually not the chefs, the chefs usually have very limited knowledge of beer, and sometimes there is zero testing of the pairing before its served to the public. I've been to beer dinners where everything was worked out in advance on paper, which is a ridiculous way to do pairing. So when people say they've not had any remarkable experiences in this department I take it with an enormous grain of salt.

                              A good friend of mine, who is a certified Cicerone, and I put together a couple of beer pairing dinners during the first two years of our city's beer week event, pairing local beers with spicy Asian cuisine. The first year was Szechuan food, the second Thai. We did a lot of testing to prepare for these, bring more than a dozen different beers with us and experimenting with pairing them with the dishes on the menu. By doing that we arrived at some pairings that were unexpected and worked really well, where the resulting whole was greater than the sum of the parts. One of the more memorable ones was a pairing of a Belgian golden strong with coriander matched with a dessert of mango sticky rice. The dessert masked the sweetness of the beer, bringing out a really amazing floral character from the hops. Another memorable pairing was an ESB with a Szechuan dish of pork and pumpkin steamed inside of the pumpkin shell. The earthy flavors of the pumpkin and the sweetness of the pork both complemented the English hops and malt flavors in the beer.

                              I do understand why people get skeptical about this stuff, but I've had far too many experiences where if you put in the time and effort you can come up with a combination of flavors that really sing - which is exactly how Garrett Oliver describes his successes in Brewmaster's Table.

                            2. re: The Professor
                              Jim Dorsch Feb 14, 2013 07:35 AM

                              I believe I'm blessed with a non-sensitive palate, so I just do whatever and it works fine for me. (It also means I have little to contribute to this discussion.)

                              1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                t
                                Tom34 Feb 14, 2013 05:54 PM

                                Couldn't have said it better!

                        2. re: C. Hamster
                          r
                          ratgirlagogo Feb 18, 2013 05:12 PM

                          Are you crazy? EVERYTHING GOES WITH BEER.

                        3. rcallner Feb 11, 2013 04:27 PM

                          Asian foods often go very well with beer - particularly Chinese, Korean, Thai. The beer complements the strong flavors well.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rcallner
                            t
                            TombstoneShadow Feb 12, 2013 08:53 AM

                            This is very true BUT it is beer specific... hand down, for my palate the best beer for spicy asian cuisine is a simple wheat beer. Try a nice american wheet microbrew or a classic german wheat like Konig-Ludwig.

                            I haven't like the match with asian and pale ales or barleywines.... pretty sure stouts wouldn't work either.

                          2. tim irvine Feb 11, 2013 04:47 PM

                            Most shellfish, especially fried.
                            Deli sandwiches, especially pastrami pile high on rye with brown mustard.
                            carbonnades a la Flamande
                            Hot pretzels
                            slim Jims ...

                            1. a
                              ARenko Feb 11, 2013 04:51 PM

                              It completely depends on the type of beer. Since you mentioned Shiner Blonde I'll just say i think it would go good with something spicy like Indian or Thai. It's what I would call a lawnmower beer - it's a crisp pale lager.

                              One of my favorite pairings is an IPA and morbier cheese.

                              1. t
                                Tom34 Feb 11, 2013 05:08 PM

                                Just about anything grilled such as steak & ribs but buffalo wings have to top the list

                                1. MidwesternerTT Feb 11, 2013 05:11 PM

                                  Chili soup

                                  Chunky mustard pretzels

                                  1. m
                                    MonMauler Feb 11, 2013 05:47 PM

                                    Whiskey goes great with beer. So does beer!

                                    Otherwise, all food goes great with beer.

                                    My favorites are:
                                    BBQ, hoagies, chips, pretzels, peanuts, most heavy sandwiches, steak, turkey, Chinese-American food, nachos, most tex-mex, rice, fried chicken, fried stuff in general, chicken wings, pizza, sushi, burgers, dogs, fries, fried fish sandwiches, bacon, catfish, sausage, omelets, eggs Benedict, and cereal. That's just a sample, general list of foods that go well with beer. Honestly, most foods go well with with beer, provided you have the proper type of beer, which is usually beer.

                                    In fact, the only food I can think of off the top of my head that doesn't go well with beer is tofu because nothing, with the exception of possibly Everclear, can make that stuff palatable.

                                    Fruit juice and non-cream based soups are sub-optimal complements to beer - as is toothpaste - mostly becAuse of the liquid-on-liquid combo, but you have to drink something with such meals, right?

                                    1. c
                                      CDouglas Feb 11, 2013 05:51 PM

                                      Any and all of the sausage family. Any and all of the shellfish family especially steamed Maryland blue crabs spread out on newspapered tables with a late season Nationals game on in the background while surrounded by your family and good friends.

                                      1. mucho gordo Feb 11, 2013 05:53 PM

                                        Pretty much everything except breakfast foods. Not recommended with cereal, pancakes, etc.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: mucho gordo
                                          s
                                          Sal Vanilla Feb 11, 2013 11:44 PM

                                          Corn or potato pancakes being the exception. I would be willing to drink a beer with a breakfast burrito loaded with potato, cheese, salsa, guac...

                                          Has anyone mentioned mexi food? Indian?

                                          1. re: mucho gordo
                                            Insidious Rex Feb 12, 2013 10:51 AM

                                            A good lambic might work with pancakes actually.

                                            1. re: mucho gordo
                                              l
                                              LStaff Feb 13, 2013 06:38 AM

                                              Stout as a coffee replacement or a citrusy ipa as an orange juice replacement go well with breakfast imo.

                                              1. re: LStaff
                                                j
                                                jpc8015 Feb 13, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                I love beer with breakfast.

                                                1. re: jpc8015
                                                  t
                                                  Tom34 Feb 13, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                  Thats different. How many?

                                                  1. re: Tom34
                                                    j
                                                    jpc8015 Feb 13, 2013 07:48 PM

                                                    I try to limit myself to nine or ten.

                                                    1. re: jpc8015
                                                      t
                                                      Tom34 Feb 14, 2013 05:57 PM

                                                      Your either married with children or just threw them all out :)

                                            2. s
                                              sandylc Feb 11, 2013 07:47 PM

                                              Bittersweeet Chocolate!

                                              1. t
                                                tastesgoodwhatisit Feb 11, 2013 08:47 PM

                                                I like crisp or bitter beers with deep fried foods - things like fish and chips (IPA), calamari (good pilsner) etc.

                                                Spicy sweet Belgian beers or stouts with winter comfort food - a good stew, steak and mushroom pie, shepherds pie. Belgian beers tend to be winter beers for me, because of the rich flavours and high alcohol content.

                                                For a summer barbecue or warm evening, something not too strong, and not too sweet/spicy - pale ales, apricot beer.

                                                For spicy foods like Indian or Mexican, good lagers or pilsners, maybe a corona with lime.

                                                For Chinese restaurants, it's got to be Taiwan Beer (mainly because that's usually the only beer they sell), 600 ml bottles, shared, out of small glasses.

                                                Steak with a hoppy IPA.

                                                And some foods go with a wide variety of beers - any pub food, for example (fish and chips, hamburgers, chicken wings, nachos, etc), pizza of course.

                                                1. K K Feb 11, 2013 10:13 PM

                                                  Tsing Tao beer goes great with most Cantonese stir fry type plates (as well as regional Chinese dishes), particularly

                                                  - dai pai dong style stir fry dishes (black bean sauce clams comes to mind, or salt pepper squid, are commonplace)
                                                  - stir fried crab or lobster dishes (e.g salt and pepper, ginger scallion)
                                                  - most beef dishes
                                                  - most claypot meat dishes (including lamb brisket, excellent for winter time)
                                                  - cold plates appetizers (if Teochew/Chiu Chow, cold cooked crab, cold cooked fish, cold crispy bitter melon marinated in rice wine, room temperature marinated goose slices, marinated goose liver slices aka Chinese style foie)
                                                  - stewed pork belly
                                                  - as other have said, fried dishes
                                                  - Cantonese bbq (bbq pork/cha siu, roast duck, roast goose, crispy skin suckling pig)
                                                  - Northern Chinese skewers (grilled meat over charcoal on stick, spiced up with paprika, cumin etc)
                                                  - smoked meat dishes (e.g. Taiwanese smoked goose, or Cantonese old style tea leaf smoked chicken)

                                                  In Hong Kong the popular beers are Tsing Tao, San Miguel (Philippines), or Carlsberg for the most part.

                                                  Basically the hotter and saltier/more savory, the better the beer will taste.

                                                  Japanese beer goes great with

                                                  - izakaya / tapas / small plates style dishes (stir fry, hot pot, deep fry, cold appetizer dishes)...too numerous to list.
                                                  - yakiniku (Japanese style bbq, thin slices of meat)
                                                  - yakitori (grilled chicken and chicken parts skewers)
                                                  - horumonyaki (teppanyaki innards)

                                                  just to name a few.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: K K
                                                    c
                                                    chuckl Feb 13, 2013 11:49 PM

                                                    Tsing tao, san miguel and carlsberg are relatively non descript industrial pilsners. Any good real German lager would be a better choice with Asian food than those palid imitations.

                                                    1. re: chuckl
                                                      Josh Feb 14, 2013 01:25 AM

                                                      Tsing Tao is really good if you like skunks.

                                                      1. re: chuckl
                                                        l
                                                        LStaff Feb 14, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                        IMO if you are going to go with a basic adjunct lager, Singha actually has malt and hop flavor.

                                                        1. re: LStaff
                                                          Jim Dorsch Feb 14, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                          I haven't had Singha in many years. I recall it used to be made with cane sugar, and used to be a good bit more powerful than it is today. But you're right that it has some good flavor, or did last time I drank it, anyway.

                                                    2. nomnomnoms Feb 11, 2013 10:31 PM

                                                      EVERYTHING!

                                                      A fatty cheese burger with an IPA.
                                                      Asian food with a crisp lager.
                                                      Pizza with a pale ale.
                                                      Cheese and charcuterie with a heavy belgian ale.
                                                      Dessert and porters...

                                                      Before I became pregnant my favorite combo at a local gastropub was a curry-apricot flatbread with fox barrel pear cider. It was the perfect summer brunch...

                                                      1. ursy_ten Feb 12, 2013 12:45 AM

                                                        A contestant on Masterchef Australia a few years ago had an obsession with beer. I know you didn't particularly ask about cooking with beer, but I figure if you make something with beer, then that beer has to go well with it, right?

                                                        Anyway, here is his site. It looks like it might be fun to explore.

                                                        http://chrisbadenoch.com/

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: ursy_ten
                                                          Terrie H. Feb 12, 2013 02:23 AM

                                                          This is what came to my mind, too. Cooking with and pairing the dish with that beer is a great way to approach this.

                                                        2. j
                                                          jpc8015 Feb 12, 2013 03:07 AM

                                                          Cheese

                                                          1. Josh Feb 12, 2013 07:44 AM

                                                            Garret Oliver's book, The Brewmaster's Table, is a great guide to food and beer pairing. He not only teaches you about all the different beer styles out there, but also the principles behind pairing them with food and what makes a successful pairing,

                                                            Most of the advice you've gotten here is terrible because few people bothered to be specific. Picking any random beer and having it with pizza is a great way to continue hating beer.

                                                            A great pairing that I think really shows off how well beer can work with food is to pan-sear some lamb and pair it with Samuel Smith's Nut Brown ale. The brown ale has caramelized malt flavors which pair really well with the caramelized proteins.

                                                            IPA's are often paired with Thai cuisine because the hop flavors complement the flavors of the cuisine, though I'm not a huge fan of most IPA food pairings I've tried. One exception to that is double IPA with carrot cake, which works shockingly well.

                                                            20 Replies
                                                            1. re: Josh
                                                              Silverjay Feb 12, 2013 08:25 AM

                                                              Have never heard nor considered IPA's with Thai food. Look forward to giving that a try.

                                                              1. re: Silverjay
                                                                s
                                                                steveprez Feb 13, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                I generally find that IPAs and DIPAs do very well with dishes that have chilis in an oil base. So Thai, especially curries, and Sichuan. And of course many Indian curries. I find that the crisp, citrus-y feel of the IPA cuts and cleanses the oily chili flavors. I like double IPAs better for this, though one must be careful of the alcohol content.

                                                                1. re: steveprez
                                                                  Silverjay Feb 13, 2013 11:31 AM

                                                                  Other than slicking the wok, oil is not used as a base or flavoring in most Thai cooking unless you're talking about fried foods. Most Thai dishes are meant as some combination of balance among sweet, salty, spicy, sour, bitter. I'm thinking about how IPAs pair with ubiquitous Thai ingredients like fish sauce, coconut milk, dried shrimp, kaffir lime, galangal, cilantro, mint, palm sugar, etc.

                                                              2. re: Josh
                                                                s
                                                                steveprez Feb 13, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                Josh is spot on! Pairing food and beer is likely as complex as with wine. Perhaps more so as beer has wider variety than wine.

                                                                1. re: steveprez
                                                                  Chinon00 Feb 13, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                  Beer has a wider variety how?

                                                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                                                    s
                                                                    sandylc Feb 13, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                    I am curious about this also.

                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                      SourberryLily Feb 13, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                      Beer varies depending on the hops (and mixture of), gran (and mixture of), yeast and brewing methods.

                                                                      That's a lot of variants, similar to wines The recipes are practically endless.

                                                                    2. re: Chinon00
                                                                      Insidious Rex Feb 13, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                      wont speak for steve but clearly there are more styles of beer and beer has a wider flavor spectrum if you will. The distance from a kolsh to a bourbon barrel imperial stout to a chocolate chili beer to a Rauchbier to a strawberry lambic is immense. I think this is because there are a larger number of acceptable ingredients in beer than wine. With wine its really all about the grapes. With beer you can go extreme on the hops or avoid hops all together and focus on the malt end of the spectrum. You can add traditional Belgian spices and come up with a masterful Quad or you can brew it with wheat or rice or heather or a million different combinations of hops and malt. This makes for a much wider taste spectrum I think. And thats not even taking the yeast into account.

                                                                      1. re: Insidious Rex
                                                                        Chinon00 Feb 13, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                                        You can have red wine, white wine, rose wine, sparkling red, white or rose, herbed wine, non-tannic wines, highly tannic wines, high or low acid wines, dessert wines like eiswein and sauterne, fortified wines like port and deep dark figgy sherries ..

                                                                        1. re: Chinon00
                                                                          Jim Dorsch Feb 13, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                          Certainly you can have many variations in wines, but I can't see how it could compare to what one might do with beer, given all the malts, hops, water chemistry, etc. Perhaps it's like comparing countable and uncountable infinities.

                                                                          1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                                                            Chinon00 Feb 13, 2013 02:45 PM

                                                                            Does beer have terroir?

                                                                            1. re: Chinon00
                                                                              Jim Dorsch Feb 13, 2013 03:57 PM

                                                                              Some claim it does (I believe we've discussed it in this forum), but I would expect this to be more noticeable in wine.

                                                                              Of course, wine will tend to vary more from year to year as well, whereas beer can be made to be fairly consistent in that regard, and probably should be in the case of most beers.

                                                                              1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                c
                                                                                chuckl Feb 13, 2013 11:59 PM

                                                                                Does wine have bitter hops. Or roasted malt?

                                                                                1. re: chuckl
                                                                                  Jim Dorsch Feb 14, 2013 12:18 AM

                                                                                  While I can see wide variations in both beer and wine, I tend to come down on the side of beer having more breadth in style. Even accounting for terroir and vintage differences in wines, I can't get past the incredible variation in hops and malts, particularly in the roasts of malts, and the number of ways one can add hops (long boil, short boil, dry hop, etc.), and the varieties of hops.

                                                                                  I'm not too familiar with wine yeasts, so am not sure how much this comes into play. I know that some wines have a natural fermentation (I believe this is generally the case with Burgundy). I am not sure how many types of cultured yeasts are used in winemaking. Yeast certainly has a huge effect on beer.

                                                                                  1. re: Jim Dorsch
                                                                                    Josh Feb 14, 2013 01:31 AM

                                                                                    Interesting discussion. Beer can have more ingredients than wine (not only hops, barley, yeast, and water, but also herbs, fruit, and spices), plus alternative brewing processes (decoction mashing, for example), and aging in different vessels. I'd think once you factor all those possibilities in it seems impossible that wine could be more varied.

                                                                                    On the other hand terroir plays a huge role in a wine's flavor, and the variation possible from the same grape variety given climate, time of harvest, yeast, fermentation, aging, etc. is pretty remarkable.

                                                                                    I think it's probably a push.

                                                                                    1. re: Josh
                                                                                      j
                                                                                      jpc8015 Feb 14, 2013 04:48 AM

                                                                                      I think that terroir does play a role in the flavor of beer, though not as significant as wine.

                                                                                      Being that beer is about 95% water, the sourse of that water plas a huge role in the final outcome of the beer.

                                                                                      1. re: Josh
                                                                                        Jim Dorsch Feb 14, 2013 05:26 AM

                                                                                        I suppose it doesn't matter in any case, as it's clear that both beverages cover wide ranges.

                                                                                        1. re: Josh
                                                                                          Chinon00 Feb 14, 2013 06:24 AM

                                                                                          Note: There are herbed wines and spiced wines such as May wine and mulled wine.
                                                                                          My main point w/ this exercise was to remind folks that "wine" is more than just Cab and Chardonnay.

                                                                                          1. re: Josh
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            LStaff Feb 14, 2013 07:46 AM

                                                                                            Hops are also effected by time of harvest, growing conditions, climate - even different parcels within a hop field can have slightly different characteristics in a given variety.

                                                                                            There is a wide range of types of malts - and each maltster's will be different than another.

                                                                                            And there is a much wider variety of flavors from yeast that are acceptable in beer.

                                                                                  2. re: Chinon00
                                                                                    r
                                                                                    RB Hound Feb 13, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                                                    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style

                                                                          2. Silverjay Feb 12, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                            I recently had a nice porter that I "paired" with a hearty venison stew. The slight hoppiness and gentle coffee tinged sweetness was a nice complement to the rich, herbal gaminess of the stew.

                                                                            1. SourberryLily Feb 12, 2013 10:07 AM

                                                                              Salty foods. Salt reduces bitterness and it complements very well with beer.

                                                                              Strong hard cheeses if you want to do a beer & cheese tasting.
                                                                              Pickles are great. Salted toasted almonds.
                                                                              Homemade jerky.

                                                                              Toasting yourself some pumpkin seeds, up to almost burnt. We did this around Halloween and it was FANTASTIC.

                                                                              1. e
                                                                                eethan Feb 12, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                                                I'm surprised there are no advocates of beer with sweets. A nicely spiced belgian w/ a slice of pie is great. Buttery crust, cloves, fruit, yeast---delicious.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: eethan
                                                                                  SourberryLily Feb 12, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                                  Hmm interesting, but coffee or milk are hard to beat when it comes to chasing down a desert!

                                                                                  1. re: SourberryLily
                                                                                    Insidious Rex Feb 12, 2013 12:01 PM

                                                                                    Try scooping some french vanilla ice cream into a glass with either a Dogfish 120 or a really good Imperial Stout and you may be surprised...

                                                                                    1. re: Insidious Rex
                                                                                      SourberryLily Feb 12, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                                      Oh, yeah i tasted that at beer festivals and stuff. It's ok.

                                                                                      Come to think of it, years back i made chocolates stuffed with a beer ganache with crumbled peanuts. They were pretty good!

                                                                                      1. re: Insidious Rex
                                                                                        t
                                                                                        TombstoneShadow Feb 12, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                                                        hmmm.... interesting call.

                                                                                        I could see the f.v.i.c. with a sweet imperial stout like worldwide... it's really port-like... or at least see trying it.

                                                                                        On the other hand, a smoky / tarry imperial like old rasputin, not quite as clear on that one.... sometimes flavors are surprising...

                                                                                    2. re: eethan
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      sandylc Feb 12, 2013 02:25 PM

                                                                                      eethan, I said bittersweet chocolate upthread - does that qualify?

                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                        e
                                                                                        eethan Feb 12, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                        Well it's along the right lines, anyway. =] I have had some enjoyable pairings of dark chocolate both with wine and with beer. What I like most though is the way a beer can really be a complex harmony for rich, sweet desserts without having to be sweet as well, the way wine does.

                                                                                        1. re: eethan
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          sandylc Feb 12, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                                                          Since I was very small I have been interested in making sure that every meal had different taste components, such as salty, fruity, and sweet. The contrast of salty, bitter (sometimes) beer is nice with many sweets.

                                                                                    3. Chinon00 Feb 12, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                                                      I enjoy mussels and fries w/ beer. Also very food friendly beers I find are highly acidic beers like gueuze, Flanders red ale, Oud Bruin, etc are great w/ the above as well as oily fish, cheeses, fried chicken, and other rich foods.

                                                                                      1. t
                                                                                        TombstoneShadow Feb 13, 2013 04:23 PM

                                                                                        Here's a twist to this idea of beer pairings with food...

                                                                                        How many of these pairings are true gustatory improvements and how many are experiential... i.e., sitting at the bar having a char-burger and your favorite draft is great, but are the flavors truly enhancing one another or is it more the whole atmosphere that's contributing to the enjoyment?

                                                                                        or satisfying of sodium-driven thirst cravings?

                                                                                        I love the *&^%$ out of all varieties of beer, just usually drink it straight whereas I'm almost always pairing wine with food...

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: TombstoneShadow
                                                                                          Chinon00 Feb 13, 2013 05:09 PM

                                                                                          Well that can be said for wine too don't you think? Atmosphere can alter perception; and sodium intake can effect thirst for wine as well.
                                                                                          Saison is a wonderful and versatile food friendly beer style btw.

                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                            t
                                                                                            TombstoneShadow Feb 13, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                            "Well that can be said for wine too don't you think?"

                                                                                            Absolutely it can. I see it all the time, diners enjoying the atmospherics of their dinner while sipping very bad wine choices with their food.

                                                                                          2. re: TombstoneShadow
                                                                                            GraydonCarter Feb 13, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                                                            I was trying to imagine, think out of the box - - what foods pair best with which beverages? Cookies and milk, spaghetti and Chianti, GORP and canteen water, strawberries and sparkling wine, Lorna Doone's and chai?

                                                                                          3. c
                                                                                            chuckl Feb 13, 2013 11:52 PM

                                                                                            Start with this: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ca...

                                                                                            1. mudcat Feb 14, 2013 04:37 AM

                                                                                              Just about anything. Great breakfast beverage.

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: mudcat
                                                                                                MGZ Feb 14, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                                                                Yeah, I agree on both counts. There is a beer that will taste good with any food and any meal (or even without the food)

                                                                                                As ol' Kris Kristofferson penned:

                                                                                                "Well I woke up Sunday morning,
                                                                                                With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt.
                                                                                                And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
                                                                                                So I had one more for dessert."

                                                                                                - Sunday Morning Coming Down"

                                                                                                1. re: MGZ
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                                                                                                  Tom34 Feb 14, 2013 05:58 PM

                                                                                                  College memories :)

                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                    MGZ Feb 15, 2013 06:32 AM

                                                                                                    I'm jealous that you can remember college.

                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                      Tom34 Feb 15, 2013 01:12 PM

                                                                                                      Its been a long time but every once in a while I will have a nightmare about completing a paper.

                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                        MGZ Feb 15, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                        I gotta ask, which do you remember better - the song or the beer? I first heard that song when I was 18 and loved it since. Then again, I first tasted "micro" beers only a few weeks before. Thank you, Mrs. Stoudt.

                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                          Tom34 Feb 15, 2013 09:26 PM

                                                                                                          Wow....I would have to say the song.....back then the beer flowed from a keg like a garden hose....hell, I can't even remember the names of the girls & that can be a good thing once married....LOL....I have a few close friends who shouted out the wrong name at the wrong time....major problems :)

                                                                                              2. vorspeise Feb 17, 2013 10:09 PM

                                                                                                You can pair beers with food made with beer, too. Try making beer bread with a less hoppy beer, like a wheat beer or pilsener, or cooking a winter stew with stout. For yeast breads, try replacing some or all of the water with beer. My favorite is a dark chocolate cake made with hazelnut brown ale. :) This blog is pretty good for inspiration: http://thebeeroness.com/

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: vorspeise
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jpc8015 Feb 18, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                                  That just became my new favorite website.

                                                                                                  1. re: vorspeise
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                                                                                                    eethan Feb 18, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                    I don't know about the pour for this stout.
                                                                                                    http://thebeeroness.com/wp-content/up...

                                                                                                    The food looks good, though.

                                                                                                    1. re: eethan
                                                                                                      Josh Feb 18, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                                                      Foamy

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