Is there anything more satisfying than having a cold one after a long day?
Maybe a perfectly paired main course to go with that delicious cold craft beer that you have recently found at your favorite bottle shop?
There are thousands of beers out there, and it can be difficult to choose the right one to pair with what you are eating.
Traditionally when we think of pairings we think of food and wine. I am about to change that, beer is the perfect accompaniment to food!
So, I have done some research (essentially that mean a lot of beer drinking and grilling) and discovered a thing or two about food and beer pairing.
BBQ and Beer Pairing Basic Rules
Before I dive into my food and beer pairings, lets go over a few ground rules for when you are trying to find a perfect food to compliment your beer.
- Don’t Overpower Your Flavors: When you are deciding what food and beer to pair the number one rule to keep in mind is to not overpower the flavors. If you are drinking something that has a bold, more grunty flavor don’t pair it with a food with little or delicate flavors. The food will get lost and all you will taste is the beer. Same goes if you are eating a meat like duck or venison that has a a lot of flavor, don’t go for a light beer with not a lof of flavor of its own, it will get lost.
- Compliment Your Flavors: If you are ever stuck this is a great rule to go by. If you are eating something that has a lot of flavor, pair it with a beer that also has a lot of flavor. If you are eating a delicate food like white fish, find a beer that also has a delicate refreshing taste to compliment the fish – not overpower it.
- Contrast Your Flavors: This might seem a little strange after the last two rules, this is for those out there that have a little experience in food and beer pairing. Contrasting flavors is a fantastic way to make both your food and beer stand out. To pick contrasting food and beer you need to pick out one of each that has one very dominant flavor that will work together to create. This method is best suited to those who have a little experience and love a full on flavor experience.
- Cleanse Your Palate: Cleansing your palate is perfect for then you have multiple food choices, or you have heavy more oily dishes. Cleansing your palate allows you to make the most of these heavy, oily dishes without being overwhelmed. A fresh, crisp IPA is the best way to cleanse your palate. When you are eating multiple different flavors or have a few different meats on offer clensing your palate will allow you to make the most of a range of different flavors without thm all starting to taste the same.
Acidic: Acidity is the acid levels of the beer. Acidity can often be confused with a vinegar flavor.
Bitter: Picking out bitter flavors of a beer is one of the easiest flavors to pick. Bitterness can be caused by the amount of hops that has been added to the beer in the fermentation process.
Body: The body of a beer is how it feels in the mouth. You will usually find the following words used to describe the ‘body’ of a beer. Delicate, dense, full, heavy, light, medium, overwhelming, robust, thin, viscous.
Carbonation: Carbonation refers how ‘fizzy’ the beer is. Beer gets its carbonation from carbon dioxide which has dissolved into the beer throughout the brewing process. Think of carbonation as the tingling feeling you get in your mouth from the beer.
Chalky: Chalky is. not something that you want your beer to be. Chalky is when you. get a dry chalk like feeling in your mouth after taking a sip.
Dark: Dark can be both a description of the color of your beer but also the flavor. A ‘dark’ beer is generally a beer that has been made from a malt that has been roasted longer, giving it s darker flavor and a more dark nutty or toasted aroma.
Grunty: This is one of my favorite words to use when describing beer. A ‘grunty’ beer is a beer that has big, bold flavor and is generally a higher alcohol percentage.
Hops: A hoppy beer is a beer that has a high concentration of hops. This can be noticed by the smell, taste and sometimes even the color of the beer. .
Light: Light can mean several things. The physical color of the beer, the alcohol content or the taste/ mouthfeel.
Malt: Malt is what you get from the barley gain used to make the beer. Malty is generally used to describe the color, flavor and taste of the beer. A malty beer is generally a beer that is dark and big on nutty flavors.
Stalky: Stalky is a way to describe a beer that has a green, herbaceous more natural flavor to it.
Sulfidic: generally not a good term, sulfidic usually refers to the smell of the beer. Usually to describe, a rotten egg, thermal smell.
Under Attenuated: This is a term used to describe a beer that has not been fermented properly.
Voluptuous: Used to describe a beer that has a very full on full flavor and rich texture.
Yeasty: Yeasty is a word that can be used to describe the taste or smell of a beer. It is used when a beer has notes of bread or other yeasty products.
BBQ and Beer Pairing Guide Infographic
Most of the time it is easier to just look at a nice pretty picture to get your information. Here is a quick go to guide for the best food and beer pairings.
To Use This Infographic Please Insert The Below HTML Into Your Website:
<a href=”https://www.simplymeatsmoking.com/grill-reviews/grill-temperature-chart/”><img src=”https://www.simplymeatsmoking.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/beer-pairing-chart.jpg” alt=”Simply Meat Smoking BBQ and Beer Pairing Guide” width=”1250px” border=”0″ /></a>
Closing Time on Meat and Beer Pairings
Meat and beer pairing doesn’t need to be difficult. It should be a fun process for you to explore and come up with your favorite combinations.
Have fun and explore your taste buds, what is the worst thing that can happen?