When it comes to pairing food and alcohol, people often discuss it in regard to wine. However, there is another type of alcohol that features nuanced scents and flavors. This alcohol can also make for a perfect pairing with a bevy of snacks and meals: beer. Matching the right beer and entrée is something that can transform a simple dinner into a fulfilling meal. Use these helpful tips below to discover the best ways to pair food and beer for your next meal and for many more after. That way, you can learn how to make dinner at home more delicious and fun.
Try to Contrast
They say opposites attract, and that same principle holds true for your beer and food team-up as well. A popular way to taste and appreciate different flavors is by mixing pairs that have contrasting qualities. For instance, the delicious sweet and salty pairing so commonly seen in snack aisles can work with beer and food too. To do this properly, you need to have either a food or a beer that has a dominant flavor, so the other part of the pairing doesn’t outshine its taste.
The dominant flavor needs to be able to cut through the other flavor without completely muting its presence. An excellent example of this is by mixing a cool, malty beer with a spicy dish. The two of them may have very different flavors, but one complements the other perfectly. It’s for this very reason that contrasting beers can also create a great way to cleanse your palate during a meal.
Create a Palate Cleanser
Because of the way certain flavors can cut through others, using the contrasting flavors principle when pairing food and beer works well as a palate cleanser. As mentioned above, a cool, malty beer can be the great way to cleanse your palate after a hot dish. You can also pair a salty dish with a more bitter-tasting beer, such as a pale ale, to help balance the flavors.
Combine to Complement
While contrasting flavors can work delightfully, so can matching qualities in food and beer. A beer with rich flavors, such as a stout, pairs well with grilled foods such as vegetables, as well as sweet desserts like chocolate. Pairing rich beer with rich food, and light beer with light foods is a satisfying way to make your meal feel perfectly matched. If you’d prefer not to pair contrasting flavors, this method is always a delicious direction to take your meal.
Now that you have a better understanding of the best ways to pair food and beer, you can make your next dinner as creative as it is tasty. Just as pairing wine to certain foods can bring out the best in a dish, so can the right beer. There are a wide variety of beers out there to try, from obscure craft beers to famous brands to some more underrated beer choices, so there’s no end in sight for the delicious pairings you have ahead of you.