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Two famous Foodtopians, Mark Rosenstein, former owner of The Market Place restaurant and chef-about-town, and Oscar Wong, owner of Highland Brewing Company, offer up tips on how to best pair food and beer. Cheers!
- When preparing a meal that calls for a particular beer as an ingredient, serve the same, or a similar beer with the meal to bring out the flavor.
- While most kinds of wine are immediately overpowered by the strong flavors of Southwestern, Thai, East Indian and Jamaican cuisine, beer truly finds its home with a meal of spicy food. Strong tasting beers with a high alcohol content, such as Weizenbock, Doppelbock, Export, Imperial Stout, Barleywine and India Pale Ale are recommended.
- Rich creamy dishes are best when served with a crisp, clean flavored beer such as a dry lager since the acidity of the lager cleanses the palate allowing the flavors of each bite to be fully enjoyed.
- Lower-hopped, less assertive beers such as lagers and ales should be served to subtly enhance the delicate flavors of fish and seafood. One exception is the tradition of serving Porter with oysters. In the 1800s, English men working as dock porters began pairing the two because they were both cheap and easy to find. Over the years, the malt flavors of Bock and Vienna beers, as well as Porters and India Pale Ales have been used to delightfully contrast a seafood dish.
- Some flavored Porters and Stouts are great for simulating the robust flavors of coffee, and go well with dessert. Fruit-flavored beers also enhance the sweetness of a dessert.
- Chocolate desserts should be served with a dry Porter or Irish Stout.
- Creamy desserts, such as cheesecake and creme brulee, go well with the sharp edge of Barleywine.
- The essences of a malty brown ale make a perfect complement for fruity desserts, especially when served with a slice of cheddar cheese.