By Molly Triffin
Beer Is the New Wine
Wine may be the go-to beverage to accompany a meal, but beer lovers swear by the powers of a cold one to enhance and complement the flavors of your dish. Here’s how to mix and match brews with bites.
Because beer has a wide range of taste profiles, aromas, and mouthfeels, it’s ideal for pairing with food. “In addition, the carbonation helps to cleanse your palate,” says Buckley Frisch, a bartender at Stowe’s quintessential apres-ski bar, The Matterhorn Bar and Grill.
When deciding which can to crack open with your meal, follow this rule of thumb: “Delicate dishes work best with delicate beers [like a blonde ale or lager], while strongly flavored foods demand bitter, hoppy beers [such as an amber ale or IPA],” Frisch says. “You don’t want to have a subtle dish with an assertive beer or vice versa because one will drown out the other.”
Frisch urges drinkers to find harmonies between food and beverage. “Generally, crisp and refreshing beers are the best way to start a meal,” Frisch says. So pair a simple salad with a pale lager. A smooth, mellow lager is the perfect complement for roast pork or chicken. Imperial stout—with hints of coffee, caramel, and cocoa—enhances a chocolate dessert.