How to match your beer to your meal

Much like wine, there is an art to matching beer to what's on your plate.

When it comes to getting the best out of your beer, there are a basic few rules: keep it cold, always pour it into a glass, and match it with what you're eating.

Food and wine pairing is common at dinner parties, and as Australia's taste in beer continues to diversify and our local breweries become more experimental, sophisticated and respected, there's greater opportunity for beer lovers to get in on the action.

When it comes to matching your beer to your meal, one simple trick is to match your strengths, i.e. a light-bodied beer should be enjoyed with a light meal. However, with thousands of beer flavours to experiment with, more experienced beer-matchers will start to look closely at the individual components of a beer.

"Food and beer pairing 'rules' are more of a guide. The easiest way to match beer and food is to match intensity with intensity," Yenda 'Beerologist' Sam Johnstone explains. "However, a little more challenging pairing idea is to contrast the flavours, bitterness and carbonation."

Starting with the basics, here are Sam's top beer matching tips.  

Entree or starter: Lager

"Lagers are generally easy drinking with a clean, crisp finish that make them more suited to lighter meals and snacks," Sam explained. "They are higher in carbonation generally, so they tend to keep the palate clean."

For this reason, it's the perfect beer to enjoy at the start of your meal. It pairs particularly well with seafood and east Asian cuisines, complementing the freshness of these foods.

Salt and pepper squid is a good place to start, offering a nice crunchy texture to your experience. Salads, fresh prawns and fish cakes will also go well with a Lager.

Main: Ale

Your next beer course could be made up of a Pale Ale, Golden Ale or Indian Pale Ale (IPA). 

"Pale Ales are generally more malt driven, with a subtle bitterness and will complement more substantial meals or dishes with spice," Sam said. 

Pale Ales match with most things, from a good steak or pie, to - as Sam suggested - a spicy stir fry or curry.

Spicy foods also go well with an IPA, while a Golden Ale could be matched with chicken and deep fried foods.

Dessert: Cider or Stout

A crisp and light cider is perfect to end your meal, Pressman's cider expert, Heath Baker explains. It works well with a fruit and cheese. The tart apple flavour also works well with a sweet, fluffy and crispy pavlova.

Alternatively, if you're having a heavier dessert, such as a pudding, you could pair it with a sweet stout beer. (There's even a chocolate stout for the real dessert fans!)

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Posted by Sven4 •17w ago • Report
As a post graduate with the Master Brewers Certificate Program, I joined the local breweries community and now looking for the materials to write an article. Their blog is just launched and there're practically no posts (only some team information). So I search for topics and achieveessays here.