Beer Pairings With Food

If you were to ask me what my two favorite things in this world are, the answer would always be beer, and of course food. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, or Ross and Rachel.

We know that there is a massive difference between the Big Mac at Mcdonald's and the Jucy Lucy from Matt's Bar right here in Minneapolis, MN; in the same manner, we know that not all beer is created equally. That being said, if you want to impress your friends, or just enhance your personal culinary experience, then keep reading, my friends. In the same way that you pair red wine with beef, you pair different beers with the various dishes in order to EXPLODE your mouth with a flavor bomb that will leave your head spinning. There is no better place to start then with the beer right here in Northeast Minneapolis.

We have to start with a few core principles to pairing beers before we can dive into pairing our beers:

1. Try to match strength with strength.

You don't want to match a strong flavored hoppy beer with a weak flavored dish. Delicate beers are best paired with delicate foods, and strong, assertive beers with bold foods. This will always include ABV, Bitterness, Hop Profile, etc.

2. Beers pair together with common elements.

You want to pair beers that have common elements with food. In an extremely simple example, you would pair something like a chocolate stout with a rich chocolate truffle... are you following?

3. You have to consider the flavors, baby!

Foods that have a lot of sweetness or fatty richness (or both) can be matched by various elements in beer: hop bitterness, sweetness, roasted/toasted malt, or alcohol. Carbonation is also effective at cutting richness.

Unrated Rye IPA:

Suggested Foods: Strong spicy foods...try buffalo wings!

Cheese: Milder blue such as Gorgonzola or Cambozola.

Dessert: Caramel apple tart, ginger spice cake, or carrot cake

Gateway Park Lager:

Suggested Foods: Great with lighter foods! Chicken, salad, salmon..Check!

Cheese: Mild white Vermont cheddar.

Dessert: Lighter desserts like lemon shortbread, or berries

The Outfit Oatmeal Porter:

Suggested Foods: Roasted or smoked foods like barbecue or beef

Cheese: A nice buttery well-aged cheddar

Dessert: Chocolate cake or truffles are perfect!


Suggested Foods: This is a perfect pairing with a classic hamburger

Cheese: Great with a cheddar cheese

Dessert: Maple bread pudding or bananas foster

The real moral of the story here is that you don't have to be an executive chef to be smart about your food pairings. So go out and surprise your significant other with a great beer from your local NE Minneapolis Brewery (of course 612Brew) and try this today!