Having friends over? Attending a beer & food pairing for the first time? Don’t worry, I have you covered. Really, a craft beer & food pairing is not too different from a wine pairing. The concept is the same, just a different liquid. 3 Tips on when hosting a craft beer & food pairing.
According to the article, “Three-Step, Can’t Fail Guide to Matching Beer & Food”. Brewers Association, Randy Mosher, 2010. https://www.brewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/2095/Beer_and_Food_Flyer_MDC.pdf. 3/21/2022, there are three basic principles that should be considered when pairing beer and food. First, start with either a specific beer or food, then follow these guidelines.
Match Strength with Strength. Delicate dishes work best with delicate beers, and strongly-flavored foods demand assertive beers – no surprise there. Intensity of flavor is not any single thing, but a sum of the taste experience. In beer, it may involve alcoholic strength, malt character, hop bitterness, sweetness, richness, roastiness and more. In food, richness (okay, let’s just say it – fat), sweetness, cooking methods, spicing, texture and complexity all play a role.
Find Harmonies. Combinations often work best when they share some common flavor or aroma elements. The nutty flavors of an English-style brown ale and a handmade cheddar cheese; the deep, roasted flavors of imperial stout and chocolate truffles; the clean caramelly flavors of an Oktoberfest lager and roasted pork are all examples of this.
Consider Sweetness, Bitterness, Carbonation, Heat (Spice) and Richness. Certain qualities of food and beer interact with each other in specific, predictable ways. Taking advantage of these interactions ensures that the food and beer will balance each other, with one partner not throwing the match out of whack. These are specific interactions, different from the intensity-matching mentioned above. One sort of has to parse these out one-by-one as the situation demands, and find flavors that will enhance one another.
Most importantly, have fun, experiment & enjoy your #brokenbowbrews!
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