Beer food pairings are important for every bartender, mixologist, bar owner, bar patron, or cicerone to learn about. We’ve talked about food and wine pairing menus before on the BinWise blog. We have even covered the best wine pairing options with steak, wine pairing with chicken, turkey wine pairing, and wine pairing with lamb. But what about beer food pairings?
In this blog post, we’ll cover some basic beer food pairings and talk through the mentality behind beer food pairings. There’s plenty to learn, from canned beer to beer on tap. Whatever your relationship is with creating a beer food pairings menu, this is the place to learn more.
Beer and Food Pairing
A beer and food pairing is a versatile culinary creation. Between the varieties of beer and food available, there are a lot of flavor combinations you can mix up. These three classic beer and food pairing options are perfect because of their variety. There are endless options within each category, and even more when you get really creative and make your own options.
Barbecue food goes with a great many beer options. The range in barbecue, from wings to ribs to coleslaw, means you can pair it with many flavors. Ales, lagers, and pilsner options often go best with a meal of barbecue foods.
You can never go wrong with burgers and beer in beer food pairings. The different toppings and sauces you can put in a burger mean there are countless options. A barbecue bacon burger with a brown ale or a lighter beer is always a good choice among the cool bar food ideas.
Pizza and beer food pairings are one of the most timeless combinations. There is a pizza and beer pairing for every food lover. The mix of pizzas for folks who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet means this combination can work for anyone.
Beer and Chocolate Pairing
A beer and chocolate pairing might seem odd at first, but stick with us! The depth of flavor in different beers means there is something out there for every chocolate lover. A lot of beer options are recommended to mix with dark chocolate. That said, in these three beer and chocolate pairing picks, we found options for all chocolates.
3. Pilsner and Milk Chocolate
Pilsner is the perfect mid-flavor beer to pair with milk chocolate. You can mix it with milk chocolate which has a mixture of fruits or nuts. You can even make it part of a chocolate, fruit, and cheese board.
2. Stout and Dark Chocolate
Most beers are recommended to pair well with dark chocolate. Stout beers are particularly well suited to this combination. If you really want to dive into the pairing, find a chocolate stout to round out the mix.
1. Wheat Beer and White Chocolate
White chocolate can be difficult to pair with in general, and even more so with beer. A wheat beer is your best bet. The combination of two light but surprisingly robust flavors will give you a unique pairing.
Pairing Beer and Food
These upcoming three tips for pairing beer and food are less about specific pairings. They’re focused on the mentality behind pairing choices. A lot of your favorite beer and food pairings will be based on personal preference. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to help you tune your pairing preferences and find new combinations.
3. Trust Your Taste Buds
Your taste buds are unique to you. If you try a beer food pairing and think to yourself, “Oh yes, this is what I like.” stick with it! Our recommendation for pairing beer with food is the same as general pairing advice: pair what you enjoy. When you know your taste, you'll also be able to taste when there's been an issue with beer expiration.
2. Mix and Match
Mixing and matching, with different beer options, foods, snacks, and even garnish-type tastes, will help you find what you like. If you’re new to beer or new to pairings, mixing new things together will give you more experience.
1. Flight Tastings
A flight tasting can be one of the most efficient ways to mix and match a pairing. If you own a brewery, offer flight tastings with food and snack pairings. It’ll draw in customers and give them a delightful experience.
Snacks that Pair Well with Beer
We’ve covered meals and desserts for beer food pairings, but what about snacks that pair well with beer? Having a beer while you snack is a tradition in homes, bars, and restaurants. These three options are versatile and always delicious. If you have dietary restrictions there are always a few alternatives for these choices. For example, vegan cheese is also a good match.
3. Spicy Cheese
When we say spicy cheese, we mean a blend with jalapenos, chili peppers, or unique peppers. A strong, spicy cheese brings out flavors in different beers. This combination is savory and delicious.
Pretzels and beer, what a timeless combination. You don’t want too much salt on your pretzels. Beyond that, a dry pretzel or a fluffy, baked pretzel will pair with nearly any beer.
1. Salted Nuts
Salted nuts are another classic beer pairing. You don’t want too much salt, and it’s best to have a wide variety of nuts. If you’re allergic to nuts you can replace them with seeds and dried small fruits like cranberries.
"Key Takeaway: Between the varieties of beer and food available, there are a lot of flavor combinations you can mix up."
Frequently Asked Questions About Beer and Food Pairings
There is so much to explore with beer food pairings. There are countless options for every beer connoisseur and food lover to choose from and experiment with.
Our answers to these frequently asked questions will help you go even further in this exploration. Read on to continue learning about beer food pairings for a bar or home setting.
What Food Goes Well with Beer?
The foods that go well with beer cover a range of flavors, including savory, sweet, rich, and neutral foods. The fact of the matter is that there are so many different beers. There is, effectively, a beer that will pair with just about anything.
What are the Three C’s of Food and Beer Pairing?
The three C’s of food and beer pairing are complement, contrast, and cut. We’re all familiar with a complementary beer food pairing. Contrast and cut are similar. Contrast is a slightly dissimilar pairing, and a cut pairing is something distinctly different.
What Foods Don’t Go with Beer?
For the most part, when you’re crafting a beer food pairing, avoid excessively salty food. This will alter the flavor of the beer in an unpleasant way. You should also avoid beans or lentils, as the effect on the body won’t pair well with the effect of beer.
What Desserts Go Best with Beer?
Typically, very sweet desserts go best with beer. This could be cheesecake, crème brûlée, or banana pound cake. You could choose butter truffles, chocolate cake, or sweet cream cookies. The sweeter and richer, the better.
Beer and Food Pairings: Cheers to Food and Beer!
Beer and food pairings are excellent for a happy hour treat or a stop at one of the oldest bars in America. If you’re looking to open one of the best bars or restaurants, invest time in finding drink and food pairings that work for you. It’ll serve you well as a bar owner.
When you’re ready to open your bar or restaurant, come back to BinWise. Our inventory software, BinWise Pro, and the BinScan mobile app are situated to organize your inventory program. Pair BinWise with BlueCart to ease your order management system.