Although many people, including foodies, don’t stop to think that food should be paired with anything but wine, there are people who strongly believe that good beer can be paired with food just as nicely as wine. Beer just seems like the natural accompaniment for grilled food. The nice refreshing cold carbonated taste just belongs with the flavors of food cooked over wood or coals.
When pairing beer with any type of food, there is one general rule of thumb. That is, you pair like flavors together. In other words, you don’t want to pair a full flavored full bodied wine with something like a delicate fish. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to pair a light and subtle flavored beer with something as earthy and full flavored as say a steak or a bratwurst.
Here are five outstanding beers to pair with grilled food.
In general, it is safe to say that you can’t go wrong when pairing some type of ale with any grilled food. There are multiple variations on ales, and they range from the very pale and mild flavored to dark red and/or brown ales that are full bodied and richly flavored.
1.) Chimay from Chimay Brewery in Belgium –
Chimay has three fabulous ales. The red bottle is their red or brown ale that is known as Premiere. It is a very rich and smooth flavored brown ale. It is arguably one of the finest beers ever made. it also carries a nice price tag. Nonetheless, if you want to eat anything from any type of grilled beef or pork, to a heavier fish like sword fish, this is an outstanding beer. The blue bottle, the Grande Reserve is their strong ale, best suited to the heaviest or fullest flavored foods such as elk, venison, beef and even buffalo. .
2.) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale –
This award winning American ale is made in the same tradition as many European pale ales. It has a nice flavor, but isn’t too terribly intense. It’s perfectly suited to serve with most types of grilled fish and chicken. It is also a nice complement for grilled vegetables. Samuel Smith’s India Pale Ale is another outstanding choice.
3.) Newcastle Brown Ale –
Newcastle is a nice smooth tasting brown ale with a slightly nutty taste. It is often used to pair with Guiness Stout to create a drink called a Black and Tan. Newcastle is very versatile and is great to serve with grilled chicken, pork, beef and more flavorful varieties of grilled fish.
4.) Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter –
If you want a rich, flavorful and strong porter, you would be hard pressed to find one to rival Samuel Smith’s. The pleasant taste of hops is just strong enough without being bitter. This is great when served with heavier beef, pork, lamb or meat like venison, elk and/or buffalo. This is a wonderful very intense flavored porter, but not bitter at all.
5.) Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peak’s Brewery –
This is a wonderfully flavorful English amber ale that is the perfect combination of flavors, a bit of intensity, but nothing overbearing. This is an ale that is suited to just about every type of grilled food. The best part is that it’s reasonably priced for a micro brew, but it can be difficult to find. Nonetheless, if you want an outstanding reasonably priced beer to serve with anything you grill, here’s your best bet.
There are literally many thousands of beers on the market. Some people don’t mind the beers made by big breweries, while others prefer the intimacy and flavor of micro brews. Pairing food with beer is a bit more challenging than pairing food and wine. While you want to pair flavors that are suited to one another, you will want to serve a beer with enough substance in the taste that people can enjoy it.
When you are enjoying the flavor of a beer, you tend to savor it, and that may be one thing that prevents people from drinking as much. Instead of reaching for the wine to go with your grilled food, consider trying a beer. You may find that it’s a tasty and refreshing combination.