The craft brewing community is awesome and we love to bring new things to the plate. That’s why beer pairings are great because we get to try something new! Who doesn’t love food right? And, of course, we all love craft beer or you wouldn’t be reading this right now. So let’s talk about some beer pairings that are really great and ones that you might want to try in the future. We’ve rounded up a variety of recipes for you to take to the kitchen (or hunt down at the restaurant) and pair up with your favorite brews. Check out the list and see what types of pairings you can come up with that suit you!
Mongolian Beef Mongolian beef is one heck of a meal to consider if you’re interested in some great beer pairings. Although this dish is not truly Mongolian in origin, we really don’t care considering how amazing it is. When you’re considering craft beers to pair with this dish, you really should look into a creamy oatmeal or milk stout like Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company. This type of brew will help to cut the heat and even out the meal, as well as draw out flavors you may not have noticed otherwise.
Chicken Parmesan Using the recipe we have listed, you will want to check out some of the great IPAs on the market. While we wouldn’t suggest a double IPA for this meal (it would be far too bitter on the scale for this meal), there are plenty of outstanding IPAs on the market for you to try. Brews like Funky Buddha’s Hop Gun IPA are great for pairing with creamy meals like this, as they help to cut the overly creamy texture, while generously drawing out many of the flavors that hide within the meat.
Braised Pork Shoulder is a dish that allows a great amount of variety in your dinner. There are several side dishes that suit this meal very well and when it comes to beer pairings, you have a wealth of options! For example, if you decide to add sides such as Sauteed Asparagus to the meal, a creamy stout would pair up well to balance everything out well. On the other hand, if you go with some creamy and rich side dishes, you have the option of beer pairings with a double IPA to add a bit of bitter to the meal to cut the creamy effect of the meal. No matter your preference, we know you’ll enjoy pairing different brews with this meal.
Szechuan Beef is often thought of as a difficult dish for beer pairings. This is not the case though, as you have the option to pair up several amazing brews with this dish. For example, our resident Portaholic popped open a bottle of Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewing. She said the bitter, yet roasty cocoa hints really matched up well with this dish in the perfect contrast. You could also try adding another dimension to the meal with a fruity brew like
Beef Wellington is a rich meat dish that pairs well with several different brews. However, nothing seems to compare to pairing this dish with a lovely porter. The cut of your beef is very specific to the flavor of the meat, and this dish has a lot of flavors. Check into brews like O’fallon Brewery’s O’fallon Smoke Porter, which help to bring out the flavor of the beef, while remaining complementary to the other foods you add to the meal.
Once you get the hang of pairing brews with the dishes that really pop with them, you’ll be pairing everything you can find. The concept, in itself, is not hard to gain a hold on and it is truly a fun thing to do with your friends and family. Sure, you’ll have the occasional “not doing that again” as you learn, but that is half of the fun of pairing! Be brave, be bold, and enjoy it!
We’d love to hear about any beer pairings you’ve discovered that turned out as expected, or perhaps surprised you in ways you’d like to mention. As a community, we want to share our experiences with others and this is a great way to do so! Who knows, perhaps we’ll feature your suggestion in a future post!