Nothing's Virgin Here

A Simple Guide to Food & Beer Pairing

Friendship is.. Catching up over a CHILLED BEER and a GREAT MEAL

Lost long friends or new friends, a glass of beer and spicy food go hand-in-hand. Taking into account the different regular and seasonal styles of beer, it is difficult to arrange a particular food type for every beer style on the bar or restaurant’s menu. Profits can be made by keeping an excellent pairing of food and beer on the menu.

A Taste of Beer

The flavors in beer can be typically described using the following:

  • BITTER – Between the different styles of beer, the bitterness varies.IBU number (International Bitterness Units) tells us how bitter the beer is. Higher the IBU, the stronger the bitterness.
  • HOPPY- The taste of a hoppy beer depends on when the hops are added in the brewing process.
  • LIGHT- Light beer usually has a refreshingly clean and crisp taste. Mostly, light beers are known to have low alcohol content. Typically, light beers don’t have a strong flavor and aren’t very bitter.
  • MALT- Roasting barley gives the beer a nutty flavor and a warm toasty aroma. A slightly sweet, caramel taste comes out during the roasting process of barley grain and this flavor is added to the brew creating malt beer.
  • DARK – Dark beers are made with malt grain that is roasted until it reaches a dark color, giving them a richer and heavier taste. With a longer roast time, darker chocolate and coffee flavor is created.

Beer and Food pair styles:

By understanding the flavor profiles of each type of beer, you can create new and unique beer and food pairings. The pairing guide for 5 different beer and food combo ideas are:


Stouts are best known for their black color and dark, roasted flavor. This style of beer has strong hints of coffee and chocolate with a silky smooth consistency. The alcohol content can be mild to high.

Stouts have a chocolatey flavor and relatively low alcohol content; they are the perfect pairs for many kinds of desserts. The best foods to pair:-

  • Chocolate truffles
  • Mexican food
  • Lobster
  • Barbecue

Amber Ales

Amber ales have strong flavors of malt, along with sweet caramel that complement the roasted malt taste. Usually, characterized by medium mouthfeel, the color ranges from amber to a deep reddish-gold. Many amber ales have a dry and crisp finish. These beers have a light and flowery aroma.

Amber ales are excellent beers for cleansing your palate. So, here are a few ideas:-

  • Barbecue pulled pork
  • Jerk chicken
  • Pizza
  • Korean spicy chicken

Wheat Beers

A mixture of wheat and barley grains is brewed together to create wheat beer, which gives the beer a smoother texture and lighter carbonation. Many brewers add citrus and other fruity flavorings to the beer. 

You can pair them with a number of foods as wheat beers are versatile. Here are some ideas:-

  • Buffalo wings
  • Spicy noodles
  • Fruit tarts
  • Pastries

India Pale Ales

In the craft brewing scene, India pale ales (IPAs), are one of the most popular styles of beer today. IPAs have a medium amber color and a very bitter flavor. Many brewers add citrus or herbal tones to the beer; to make the bitterness more palatable.

Here are a few general food and beer pairings that work for all types of IPAs:-

  • Barbecue ribs
  • French fries
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Steak
  • Roasted fish

Light Lagers

The palest type of beer, and are known for their crisp and refreshing taste. Most light lagers do not have a strong flavour and are not bitter.

They’re ideal for pairing with spicy dishes, but you can pair these beers with any type of food of your choice. Here are some ideas for light lagers you can try:

  • Salads
  • French fries
  • Burgers
  • Spicy noodles
  • Fried fish

Having a beer and food combo not only brings in sales for the bar or restaurant but also enhances the flavour of the beer. So do make sure to have a good chilled pint of beer along with these combinations!! Why not consider different type of glass? Give it a try and tell the experience in the comments…

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