6 best beer and food pairings

With a wide variety of types to choose from, beer makes a great accompaniment to almost any dish. Here are six beer and food pairings that are sure to please the palate. 

By Amanda Barnier and The Test Kitchen

6 best beer and food pairings
©iStockphoto.com/Nikolay Trubnikov
According to Statistics Canada, $20.3 billion was spent on alcoholic beverages last year. Beer was at the top of the pack, raking in $9.1 billion on its own. With its increasing popularity and range of types, pairing beer with food will give your menu an extra boost. 

Here are six of our best beer and food pairings: 

1. Bock and dark lagers are malty and strongly flavoured with a hint of sweetness.  
Food pairing: Try roasted or grilled meats, especially game, since the beer will overpower subtle flavours.
 
2. Brown ale ranges from deep amber to brown and has sweet caramel and chocolate notes. Depending on its source, it may take on a citrus accent or be nutty, malty or strong in flavour. 
Food pairing: This beer goes well with red meats and barbecue sauces
 
3. Pilsner is slightly bitter with a dry, crisp finish. Made with neutral or hard water, pilsner is golden and well known for its hops flavour. 
Food pairing: Stick with spicy or strong-flavoured foods, such as curries or chilies. 
 
4. Pure lambic is a cloudy, uncarbonated three-year-old sour beer brewed only in Belgium. It is consumed after refermentation and blending with fruit, such as cherries. 
Food pairing: Serve with dessert and creamy cheese.
 
5. Wheat beer is light in colour and cloudy. Its mild, sweet and dry spicy flavour has little aftertaste, making it an ideal beer for beginners. 
Food pairing: Use as the beer of choice in cooking, since its mild taste will take a backseat to the ingredients.
 
6. Stout is made from black unmalted barley, giving it its dark colour. Tasting of molasses, chocolate, coffee and licorice, stout is creamy, thick and full-bodied. 
Food pairing: Use with almost any meat dish, and pair it with chocolate and oysters. Add ice-cream to a pint for a beer float.

Check out these great recipes that let you get creative with beer:
Stout-Glazed Beef Ribs 
Beer-Battered Corn Dogs


This story was originally titled "Beer Basics" in the June 2012 issue.

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