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What foods go with beer?

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.

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

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

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

              1. what foods DON'T go well with beer?

                31 Replies
                1. re: C. Hamster

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

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      @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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                              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.)

                            3. re: Josh

                              Then what is the ideal food then?? Sp much theory but no answer

                              1. re: Beerfood

                                Ideal food depends on the specific beer being consumed.

                                  1. re: chefj

                                    Yeah, but this subthread raises an interesting tangential question: Is there any food/dish that adequately pairs with just about any beer? A "universal" beer food, if you will.

                                    Only thing that even comes to mind for me right now would be salted, in-shell peanuts.

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Tillamook medium Cheddar cheese

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        It's a meaningless question. It's like asking is there any food that pairs with just about any wine? The myriad of flavors in beer renders that an impossible question to answer.

                                        1. re: Josh

                                          Not really the same situation, but I recall Michael Jackson comparing someone's ordering just "a beer" to saying, "I'll have a plate of food," with no further qualification.

                                          1. re: Josh

                                            Due to the carbonation in beer I'd say the generally fried food is a good match for all beer.

                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                              There are quite a few beers that I'd never have with fried food. Anything high in alcohol, sweet, or lowly carbonated (e.g. a strong stout) would be a gross match with fried food, IMHO.

                                              1. re: RB Hound

                                                "There are quite a few beers that I'd never have with fried food. Anything high in alcohol, sweet, or lowly carbonated (e.g. a strong stout) would be a gross match with fried food."

                                                I'd bet, if you listed a beer in each category mentioned as an example, you'd get a few suggestions of fried foods that could work perfectly well. Say, funnel cake and framboise?

                                                1. re: RB Hound

                                                  I can appreciate all your exceptions except high alcohol beers. Can you further explain?

                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                    Sure - take a barleywine, for example. I cannot imagine anything fried that would go well with it, but that may just be me.

                                                    1. re: RB Hound

                                                      yep. I like a Barleywine after dinner, while sitting by the fireplace. If i had a fireplace.

                                                      1. re: RB Hound

                                                        How about high alcohol beers w/ firm hop bitterness like west coast (I)IPAs, or Imperial Stout?

                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                          Fried foods, in general, benefit from crisp, light-bodied beers (and crisp, light-bodied wines).

                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                            What's your assessment of hop bitterness and fried food?

                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                              I don't really see a relationship there.

                                                  2. re: Josh

                                                    Of course it's a meaningless question. We're talking about "pairing" food and drink - it's fun, but it's still a fundamentally meaningless discussion. I'm not really in the mood to turn my attention back to corporate inversions yet this morning.

                                                    Your point is well taken regarding the nuanced flavors in many beers. I actually think it might be easier to find a basically universal wine food. Bread, for example, comes to mind. Likewise, a medium softness, lower salt cheese works - say, a fresh mozzarella.

                                                    Of course with either beer or wine, the answer to the question posed will technically be "no". None of us has or will ever be able to test every beer or wine, much less every possible food combination with each, so we play with conjecture and the potential to present outliers that suggest exceptions. Moreover, there's the elephant wearing the "it's all subjective anyway" sash pacing in the far end of the room.

                                                    In the end, however, if a friend calls and says he wants to bring over a bunch of "new" beers for us to try, I'm inclined to have some of that Tillamook Cheddar around . . . .

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      Cheese is often good with beer. That might even really be the answer for an ideal beer food. Maybe not the same cheese, but I have yet to have a beer that wouldn't have had an excellent cheese pairing.

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

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: rcallner

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

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

                                                1. Chili soup

                                                  Chunky mustard pretzels

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

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                                          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

                                                            A good lambic might work with pancakes actually.

                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

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

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    I try to limit myself to nine or ten.

                                                                    1. re: jpc8015

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

                                                            2. Bittersweeet Chocolate!

                                                              1. 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. 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

                                                                    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

                                                                      Tsing Tao is really good if you like skunks.

                                                                      1. re: chuckl

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

                                                                        1. re: LStaff

                                                                          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. 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. 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

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

                                                                          1. 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

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

                                                                              1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                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

                                                                                  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

                                                                                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: sandylc

                                                                                      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

                                                                                      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

                                                                                        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

                                                                                          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: Chinon00

                                                                                              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

                                                                                                Does wine have bitter hops. Or roasted malt?

                                                                                                1. re: chuckl

                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                          1. 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. 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. 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

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

                                                                                                  1. re: SourberryLily

                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                        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

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

                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                          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. 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. 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...

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: TombstoneShadow

                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                            "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.

                                                                                                            1. re: TombstoneShadow

                                                                                                              Ok so beer and food can mutually enhance each other like wine and food can?

                                                                                                          2. re: TombstoneShadow

                                                                                                            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?

                                                                                                            1. Just about anything. Great breakfast beverage.

                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: mudcat

                                                                                                                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: Tom34

                                                                                                                    I'm jealous that you can remember college.

                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

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

                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                          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. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                    Didn't Johny Cash cover that one?

                                                                                                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                        The story behind it was recently featured on Drunk History. I believe you can find it on demand.

                                                                                                                  3. 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

                                                                                                                      That just became my new favorite website.

                                                                                                                      1. re: vorspeise

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

                                                                                                                        The food looks good, though.

                                                                                                                      2. Q: What foods go with beer?

                                                                                                                        A: All of them.

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                          That is just not true. There is a huge range in what what Beer tastes like and certain foods clash with certain Beers. Just like pairing Wines.

                                                                                                                          1. re: chefj

                                                                                                                            "There is a huge range in what what Beer tastes like and certain foods clash with certain Beers."

                                                                                                                            Then grab a different beer. That's the point.

                                                                                                                            1. re: chefj

                                                                                                                              You may say flavors are clashing, some people would say flavors are contrasting.

                                                                                                                              My point is...I am hard pressed to find any food that does not have a corresponding beer pairing.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                  Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

                                                                                                                                  Lindemans Cassis Lambic

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                    Stone 18th Anniversary Ale (an IPA with lemon Pledge notes).

                                                                                                                          2. Tex-Mex would be good with that Shiner, though margaritas are a close 2nd

                                                                                                                            1. I like my Spaten with Sichuan food. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way.... I like spicy food with beer. And salty food with beer.

                                                                                                                              And beer with beer.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                The more I drink...the more I drink.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                  If I had all the money I've spent on drink...

                                                                                                                                  ... I would spend it on drink.

                                                                                                                              2. I'm not an avid beer drinker as I drink wine most of the time, but I do find beer goes great with very hot-spicy food in general, particularly with hot Korean, Thai, Sichuan and Indian dishes, which kill may wine palate. I prefer pilsners and sour beers with food

                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: AlexBernardo

                                                                                                                                  Give beer and cheese pairings a try. You may never go back to wine.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                    I have, not convinced. but sake and cheese is terrific

                                                                                                                                    1. re: AlexBernardo

                                                                                                                                      If you're not convinced then you aren't doing it right.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                        hate to break it to you but I'd rather go wine and cheese anytime

                                                                                                                                        1. re: AlexBernardo

                                                                                                                                          And that's absolutely your right and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. However cheese and beer have been a well respected pairing in countries such as Belgium and Britain for centuries. Doesn't mean that you must like it, but as a combination it's worthy of respect.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                            Alex B
                                                                                                                                            Yes, I am wondering if you are pairing Bud Light with Velveeta or something like that. I think beer and cheese can be a great pairing because the carbonation lifts the cheese off the tongue so that it can do its job of tasting better.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: AlexBernardo

                                                                                                                                            Alex B
                                                                                                                                            Are there any specific sake types you feel go well with cheese? At my local sake bar here in Tokyo, the owner likes to occasionally pair blue cheese or gorgonzola with small plate Japanese dishes. Even sakes with high acidity turn out not to be a good match for these, but those made using the "yamahai" or "ki-moto" techniques go well due to their use of lactic acid in the brewing process.

                                                                                                                                            What has been your experience?