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Pairing craft brews with great winter dishes

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Winter is a season that is made for rich meals like pasta and hearty meats.  Whether it’s a bowl of thick, delicious stew or a plate holding a juicy steak with some sauteed vegetables and a huge baked potato, you will want the right craft beer for your meal.  After all, nothing is quite as enjoyable as a perfect pairing.  Pairing craft brews with hearty and rich winter dishes is not hard and could really make your night that much better.

What are some hearty stews I can try pairing craft brews with?

Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables is a great start for hearty stews that you might want to try pairing craft brews with.  This hearty stew will give you the many vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy body on top of some seriously hearty meat to fill up that winter belly.  We all have a winter belly and it likes great food.

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce is the next one on the great winter meals list.  Not only is beef stew a great, classic winter meal, but the red wine sauce is a great match for several craft brews on the market.  We paired this with a lovely barleywine and it turned out great.

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Noodles is a great winter meal if you want to get a bit adventurous.  This is great for pairing craft brews with and we suggest a malty, creamy stout or a delicious Porter in order to help cut the cumin for those who don’t care for a lot of spice.  For those who don’t care for lamb, you can easily alter the recipe to include beef.

Short Rib Stew is another classic winter meal that is great for pairing craft brews with.  The hearty sauce that results from this meal is great as a gravy for other meals as well, so remember that you might come up with two to three meals from this!  Not only will you be full and warm, but you’ll have plenty of pairing opportunities as well.  We paired this one with a Double IPA and the hoppy brew contrasted perfectly.

What are some other meals that make pairing craft brews easy?

Kale and Turkey Sausage Saute with Parmesan is a bit of an off-the-wall meal that is not only great for your health but also opens up a nice variety in terms of pairing craft brews.  This could be paired with either an IPA or a Porter, as one would complement the slightly bitter dish and the other would contrast and tone it down.

Turkey Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms with Marinara and Cheese is a great low-carb, gluten-free option for a winter meal.  In addition to being exceptionally healthy, this meal offers a chance for those with a gluten-free diet to pair some of the craft ciders!  We personally loved pairing this with a hard apple cider and it turned out quite well.

Greek Braised Cod with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives is a super healthy meal that can not only give you a boost but also makes a nice break from stews and soups that tend to “own” the winter months.  Bearing in mind that olives have a pretty salty flavor, pairing this meal with a creamy brew would offer a great contrast.  In the same token, pairing it up with one of the fruit-infused brews on the market such as an Apricot Ale would offer a crisp and refreshing addition as well.

It sounds like pairing craft brews with winter meals is really open

Indeed it is!  Not everyone has the same tastes.  While one person may enjoy complementing brews with their meals, others like to contrast their brews in order to bring out new flavors both in the meal and the craft beer.  No matter which you prefer, remember to be adventurous and try new ideas.  You might find something great where you wouldn’t expect it!


Feb 16, 2017