Recently, we’ve spent quite a bit of time checking into different craft beer, new craft breweries, and outstanding brewers here in the United States. The result has been the creation of a long list of really great, high-quality craft beers and breweries that we plan to revisit. However, we don’t spend that much time talking about the food pairing aspect of craft beer. We’d like to change that, so today, we’re going to focus on the really great food we’ve had that paired up well with our brews.
With so many different types of craft beer on the market, it would take a lot of space to list off every single dish that would pair up with each brew. Right now we’re going to focus on IPAs and double IPAs. Not because they are any more important than the stouts, porters, and other brew styles on the market, but simply because there have recently been quite a few meals we’ve found that complement and contrast so very well with these brews.
This question is truly a matter of taste. Not everyone likes an overload of bitterness and bite between their meal and their brew, while others absolutely love the combination. Personal preference is always going to be the deciding factor in this arena, as you may prefer a rich meal to cut the hoptastic bite of your brew. Others may want to add some bitter and biting foods to bring out even more of the bite in their brew. That is part of what is great about the craft brewing community. We all have different tastes and we love to see what everyone else likes as well.
Personally, we enjoy both sides of the coin with our IPAs and have tried a variety of different combinations that really worked out great from both arenas. Below we have listed some of the great meals that we’ve paired up with both IPAs and double IPAs. These meals run the gambit from rich and creamy to biting and spicy and we always suggest that you try each one before dismissing it offhand, as you just might find you really like the combination.
Spinach and Kale Salad with Peppercorn and Grilled Chicken – As a complimentary food pairing, this one works out quite well. Grab some Italian Dressing and a nice IPA and you’ll find yourself on an adventure of flavors. The IPA will pull flavor notes from the salad that you likely would never have noticed without it, while the dryness of the spinach will pull notes from the IPA in turn.
Lemon Chicken with Piccata – Although this meal isn’t necessarily dry or biting, the citrus really helps to bring out the more subtle notes of many IPAs. There are a few different recipes available out there and each is well worth trying.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds – If you’re not a fan of brussels sprouts, you just might become one. This dish brings out the citrus notes in an IPA while creating a compliment/contrast all at once. We found the dish to be interesting and hope you will as well.
Creamy Alfredo Chicken – Creamy foods are a perfect contrast for an IPA or double IPA. The texture of the meal helps to cut the bitterness of the brew, while the brew, in turn, cuts the creamy notes of the meal.
Creamy Stroganoff with Beef Tips – Again, the creamy texture of the meal itself is going to cut that bitterness and crisp nature of an IPA, with the same happening in reverse. However, in addition, the citrus of the IPA really brings out the flavors present in the beef, making the meal that much more interesting.
We hope you try a couple of the different meals we’ve mentioned here. If you know of other great meals that compliment or contrast well with IPAs and double IPAs, leave us a note in the comments. We love hearing from our readers and your comment might be the inspiration for our next food pairing post! Til then, from all of us here at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault, Happy Pairing!
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