Summer brings with it the fishing season, which means there will be some amazing meals for pairing up with your craft beer. While nothing is quite as satisfying as a well-paired meal with your brew, catching that meal yourself just might top it on the list. However, even if you can’t go out and catch your dinner yourself, you can still select some great fish dinners for your next pairing session.
This question has a variety of answers, due to the differences between species of fish. For example, catfish has an entirely different flavor and texture than a salmon steak. Thus, the two dishes would match with different craft brews. Each meal would bring out different nuances in the brew, and vice versa. That is one of the really fun elements in food pairing as well since you get to draw out flavors that you may have missed without the pairing.
Catfish has a very strong flavor and texture, which means it would need a really crisp brew to cut through and draw out the lighter hints of flavor, while the fish would draw out flavors from the brew as well. We’ve paired some great Louisiana Catfish meals with a crisp brew like California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Company. This crisp and refreshing brew cuts right through the heavy flavors of the catfish and helps to bring out the lighter nuances in the meat, while the fish seems to pull forward a lot of the more delicate spice from the brew.
Depending on your preference for stouts, you may find a wide range of fish dinners that pair up well with your chosen brew. For pairing up meals with brews like Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout, we suggest meals like Grilled Orange Roughy. The flavors of the meat really cut through the smooth and malty textures of the brew, helping to draw forward a variety of subtle hints that are often missed within this well-loved craft beer.
If you are planning on a pairing with Victory Brewing’s Storm King, you’ll want a meal that is on the lighter, flakier side in order to contrast with the heavier texture and flavors of the brew. Meals like Grilled Black Sea Bass are certainly a great idea for these occasions, as the lighter touch of the meal will contrast very nicely with the brew, while your brew will pull forward those subtle flavors from the fish, especially when it is properly seasoned.
Is there a specific pairing you’ve found that really pops? Tell us about it in the comments! We love to hear from our readers and your comment will most likely be added to our list of great pairings to try! If there is one thing we love as much as craft beer, it’s great food! In the meantime, from all of us here at West Palm Brewery and Wine Vault in South Florida, happy pairing!
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