A complete meal comprises not just the food, but the accompanying beverage — specifically, a good beer. Besides the fact that hops are a good stimulant for one’s appetite, the complex flavours found in beer complement a wide range of food for a more comprehensive culinary experience. With so many different types of beer to choose from, it’s important to have a general understanding of food pairings that work well in order to get the best out of your meal.
Pale Ale & IPA — Sharp Cheese, Burgers, and BBQ
One of the more popular food pairings is a pale ale or an IPA beer and a strong cheese, such as cheddar or blue cheese. Affectionately known as the “ploughman’s lunch”, pale ale and cheese is a traditional staple in English pubs that has endeared itself to locals to this day. The rationale behind this pairing is that pale ale and IPA beer are able to accentuate the acidity of the cheese and enhance its all-round hearty flavour. IPA beer is also known to bring out the blue cheese’s floral notes, which is something you don’t usually associate blue cheese with, so it truly is a unique taste profile. Pale ales and IPA beers also go well with burgers and barbeque as both pairings have equally intense flavours — burgers and barbeque being rich in umami, and pale ales and IPA beers with their bitterness and citrus notes.
Lager — Seafood, Mild Cheese, and Hotdogs
Hotdogs and beer go hand in hand, whether you’re conjuring up an image of an all-American catch-a-baseball-game summer or a typical German wurst-and-beer occasion like Oktoberfest. Either way, the summer imagery that comes with hotdogs and beer means that you will typically have it outdoors, which calls for something crisp and refreshing, like lager beer. It’s light undertones also work great with mild cheeses like brie and havarti, which in turn bring out the caramel notes in say, a pale lager. Keeping up with the light and refreshing theme, even light seafood, such as fish, can be an ideal pairing with lager beer.
Stout & Porter Beer — Roasted Meat, Oysters, and Dark Chocolate Desserts
Stout beer is known for its heavy, roasted scent, as well as chocolate and coffee notes, while porter beer is slightly lighter and crispier but still contains similar flavours. Their rich, earthy profile is the perfect complement to roasted or chargrilled gamey meat, such as venison and beef steak. Oysters are also another iconic pairing, especially with stout beer, as its rich flavours mesh seamlessly with the sharp brine of oysters. Stout and porter beers also have a reputation as the desserts of the beer world, so it’s no surprise that they are also ideal pairings for dark chocolate and coffee desserts.
Fruit Beer — Salads and Desserts
While fruit beers can be infused with a wide range of fruits, they are most commonly accompanied with citruses and berries. Coupled with its malt and hop, fruit beers make excellent pairings for salads and desserts, adding a bright and fruity contrast to salads with toasted nuts, blue cheese, or feta crumbles, as well as desserts like chocolate cake, fruit tarts, and even caramel cheesecake.
Regardless of what your desired pairing is, Arvo Drinks has you covered with a wide range of unique Australian craft beers, brewed with love and infused with innovative flavours. Check out our website for more information.