Suggestions for pairing beer with food.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chefrwa, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. chefrwa


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    Line Cook
    Im about to start paring beer and tasty food at a craft brew lounge (bar) and they have anything from awesome IPA's to Ales to Stouts and Porters. They have 16 taps and its ever changing, pretty damn awesome! However if anyone has any ideas or has done any beer pairings, and wants to throw out some rad ideas shoot em at me! Thanks!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2014
  2. fablesable


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    Retired Chef
    Oh my goodness.....that is something I have been working on the last few and drink pairings. What a ton of fun!! I will have to take a look at my notes and post back here. I have a couple for an IPA, Stouts and one for a porter. Hope you have a blast with it!
    chefrwa likes this.
  3. chrisbelgium


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    Home Cook
    Just noticed this thread. I already posted these pictures on this forum:

    Sabayon of cherry beer and (your choice) of fruit. Eggyolks plus half a shell of cherry beer per eggyolk and a little less sugar. Just burn it with a torch when whisked perfectly.

    Carbonade flamande. (first picture below) A well known dish from my country. Use any dark beer that's not too strong or else add water or a little stock. Mustard and dark brown sugar (cassonade) makes the dish (and a lot of love). I use a dark abbey beer in this.

    Pork cheeks. The second picture is made more or less the same way, but here there's a lot of root vegetables in the stew. Also made with abbey beer.

    Note; Best choice for this type of stews is still is an "old brown" beer and the very best is still Rodenbach.

    Two rabbit stews, the first one is made with prunes and dark beer (a typical Flemish feast dinner called konijn met pruimen). The other one is made with cherries and cherry beer called "Mort Subite";

    Mussels, steamed in white beer. Use a type Hoegaarden white beer (it contains coriander that goes very well in this dish). Add just a good sprinkle, then put on very high fire until the mussels are open. You can add finely chopped vegetables like onion, celery, parsley or like here, fennel. I also added a little cream at the last moment.

    You can make a large number of fantastic sauces with a selection of beers. In fact, beers will provide an incredible much larger number of different possibilities compared to using wine!

    - deglaze your pan where meat is fried with beer of your choice. Don't let it reduce too much like wine or the beer could get bitter. Optional; add a bit of stock, shallot, mustard etc. Add a few cubes of very cold butter and swirl your pan above the fire until the butter is dissolved and the sauce is emulsified.

    - beurre blanc; chop a shallot very finely. Add some white beer or even better, a gueuze. Let reduce until just a tbsp is left. Add a little cream and reduce. Turn your the fire to very low. Add a cup of small 1 cm3 cubes of cold butter , only a few at a time and whisk until all butter is in. Fantastic on fish!

    - cheese sauce; chop Belgian abbey type cheese in cubes, add fullfat milk and some beer type Duvel or Omer or Quitine....  whisk on medium fire, mix if necessary. Pour over asparagus and what not...

    - Hollandaise with blond Leffe (or any other similar blond beer). I suppose you know how to make the sauce. Use a little beer instead of water and lemon juice. The result might look like this (I added chopped bear garlic in the sauce);

    Desserts; combinations of dark abbey beer and chocolate are nice. How about making a "mousse au chocolat" with them?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
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  4. matatatt


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    Professional Chef
    IPA's make a great pairing with a ton of Thai influenced food.


    braising damn near any meat with a nice rich nutty ale will always be a winner. 

    why not try a mole style sauce with some reduced porter? 

    rich house pat'e always goes nice with something Belgian-y sweet 

    if you get a fun sour FOR THE LOVE OF GOD save some and reduce it to a syrup... mad depth 

    my best advice is try everything that comes in the door ... currently have 32 craft beers on tap at my place try to make an effort to try every one... just getting those tastes on your mind will help you a ton.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Professional Chef
    Stouts go well with a lot of raw bar foods, especially oysters.  Lambics ("wild fermented" sour beers) go well with a lot of things and make a great pre-dinner drink, going well with a lot of hors d'eourves and also with a lot of desserts especially when paired with desserts incorporating fruit and dark choclate.  IPA's can pair nicely with salads and a lot of seafood, but be careful of how bitter your IPA is.  I find that a lot of the super hopped IPA's are not really very food friendly, except for maybe the most fatty and greasy of fried foods.  Amercian style lagers can pretty much pair with anything, but are great with spicy foods.  Stouts and porters do really well with most braises, although they have plenty of uses beyond that.  When it comes to main courses I often like malty, medium hopped beers as they pair well with just about everything except for fish.

    These are pretty general guidelines, but it is a start.  There is a ton of information out there, both in books and on the web that can get really in depth and offer up a lot of ideas.
  6. jaynna


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    Culinary Student
    When we were in Australia, my dad used to pair Scotch Ale with Roasted or grilled beef and sticky toffee pudding or chocolate chip short bread. I find it weird since it was my first time seeing those kinds of food paired with beer. I got curious actually and asked dad if I can try. Great taste! The beef seems to be perfect for the kind of beer he chose.