Beer and Food Pairing: Perfect Match
Beer and food have had a long-standing love affair. Images of a traditional lager with practical fare, such as pub grub or barbecued meats, probably come to mind.
But today’s evolving range of craft beers are pushing the boundaries and offering complex flavours and textures that could rival the likes of fine wine.
Owner of Far Side Beers in Camberwell Mairead Kennedy says craft beer is becoming increasingly sophisticated.
“People are actively seeking out specialty brews and are more curious about how they can enjoy beer with a meal,” she says.
Pairing specific brews with complimentary foods can also get people thinking differently about drinking beer and allow them to enjoy it in a new way, Kennedy adds.
Originally from Ireland, Kennedy says it is common for the Irish to pair stout – a dark, creamy and rich beer – with a hearty and warm dish like a stew.
“For a Saison (French) brew, the zesty, tart, sour flavours go really well with Asia-Pacific foods such as Thai or Indonesian dishes,” she says.
“But sometimes you can get surprising combinations. For instance, Two Birds Brewing make a Taco Beer which most people think would go well with Mexican food. But because of the coriander and lime notes, it actually pairs really well with Thai food.”
Dark, malty, sweet beers match well with red meat, different types of chocolate and strong, vintage cheeses.
By contrast, crisp and dry beers, such as a pilsner, complement foods like grilled fish and barbecued meats. When it comes to pairing beer with food, Kennedy says it is important to have an open mind.
“Part of the fun with beer is that what one person would consider a good pairing someone else may not. The key is to be adventurous.”
Far Side Beers
887 Burke Road, Camberwell
0467 210 163
Best matched with mascarpone cheese, pickled dishes and foods driven by herbs and spices. A dark, bitter chocolate is a perfect match for a kriek lambic (cherry beer).
India Pale Ale
Pair this with strong, spicy foods such as a curry or bold, sweet desserts like caramel tart, ginger spice cake
or rice pudding.
This is good with rich and complex flavours such as smoked beef, southern spiced chicken and sharp,
rich cheeses. For desserts, go for caramel cheesecake
or crème brulée.
Complements a range of foods including meat pies, burgers, cheddar cheese, and deserts like bread and butter pudding or anything with banana.
Light meals with chicken or salmon, salads and delicate, nutty cheeses make a perfect match for Kolsch. Fruity desserts work well with this brew – go for tart flavours like apricot or lemon.
Ideal with light seafood dishes like steamed mussels, fresh salads, and soft, herb cheeses. Combine sour fruits with sweet flavours for dessert – try a tangy citrus sorbet or crepe Suzette.