Pairing beer with the fine cuisine has recently come to the attention of many eating establishments as they try to cater to the 90's micro-brew crowd. No longer is wine considered the only drink fit for a succulent entree. You too can bring this art form into your own home with a few simple tips.
Much like wine, you must consider the style of cuisine and the predominant flavors in a dish. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Barbeque chicken, especially tomato based sauces, can be complemented by Hefe-weizen (wheat beer) where the citrus flavors show through.For more subtle fish or pork dishes, a nice Czech style pilsner, with crisp, hoppy notes will spice up the palate between bites.The yeasty belgian beers can have a bread-like flavor, which work well with fruit and cheese.
- Deep savory flavors, such as a dry-rubbed steak, can be balanced by a sweeter beer, such as a German Dopple-bock or cream stout. For the opposite effect, some like a dry Irish stouts here as well, but I would recommend a porter to avoid strong bitter flavors.
Keep in mind that hops can often make a beer extremely bitter. Bitter flavors hit a very specific part of the toungue and can linger in your throat.
Knowing your beer before pairing it with any recipe is half of the fun. Purchase several varieties and try them all! Better yet, you could brew your own beer exactly how you would like it... but that is for another article.
Norman Adams Lariviere, Brew Chef, has been creating gourmet cuisine for over 12 years, incorporating over 25 batches of his home-brewed beers into every recipe. He has recently launched a website Brew and Chew to share his recipes and pass on his home-brewing experiences.