How To Pair Beer and Food Like An Expert

We all know there’s an art to pairing wine with food. Sommeliers dedicate their entire lives to perfectly selecting and studying wines. 

Something that’s a little less known is that there’s actually an equally dedicated profession for beer. Trained Cicerones do basically the same thing as sommeliers except with beer. 

If you’re one to find a beer you like and drink it with anything, or pair any beer with whatever you’re throwing on the barbecue, a Cicerone would argue that you’re missing out on the true potential of both the drink and the meal. Because you may have had a good beer with a good burger, but have you ever had the perfect beer with the perfect burger?

Here are a few basics tips on matching flavours, complimenting intensity and fully utilizing scrubby bubbles.

Match Intensity

If you pair a bold beer with a light salad, you’re going to lose the flavour of the salad. Similarly, if you pair a mild beer with a rack of ribs, it will barely make an impact. For instance, if it’s a mild beer, then it’s best to pair it with food with mild flavours and bold beers with bold flavours.

Find A Common Flavour

beers have full and complex flavour profiles that often include a number of food-like ingredients. Not only can beers be bitter, sweet or dry, but they can also taste fruity, citrusy, floral, smokey or like a variety of spices. What a convenient quality when you’re trying to pair it with food! It’s wise to pick a beer that has a flavour or ingredient in common with the dish you intend to pair it with.

Drink The Beer That You Are Cooking With

A real pro tip is to actually cook with the beer you’re going to be serving the food with and blending all the flavours together for a big happy meal.