Pairing beer with food enhances the flavors found in each, highlighting subtlety, emphasizing aroma, and sometimes building a magical experience. On a practical level, beer is the ultimate beverage for fine cuisine: it has a wide range of flavors, from biscuit to caramel to roast to herbal hops; the carbonation in beer clears the palate and makes the next bite more appealling; beer's range of strength and typical serving size are perfect for lunch or dinner. For example: after many years of cheese tastings at restaurants, at stores, and in homes it has finally become commonly accepted by chefs and food writers that beer is the best beverage to pair with cheese.
Pairing a beer with a specific dish is not hard, but a few guidelines can help. First, think either to complement or to contrast the beer with the food: a rich, fatty cream soup can be complemented by a deeply malty Taddy Porter or contrasted with a dry, effervescent, hoppy Orval. Likewise, a salad with vinaigrette dressing can be complimented with a snappy Sam Smith's Organic Lager or Ayinger Brauweisse, or it can be contrasted with Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel.
As you sample beers with specific dishes, keep an open mind and note what is going on - how does the one alter your perceptions of the other? Also, think of the order of the courses - in general, it's a good idea to begin with subtler flavors and move to more asseritve beer & food as a multi-course meal proceeds.
Chefs use beer as a key ingredient in many classic and innovative dishes - often, serving a dish made with beer can offer new awareness when the same beer accompanies it. The recipes below area collection of proven classics from regions with long brewing traditions, as well as enlightened modern dishes.
Scroll down below the food recipes for cocktails made with beer.
Valentine's Day Lamb Chops with Roasted Thyme Potatoes and a Framboise Sauce with Lindemans Framboise lambic - from The Beer Cook.
Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout Soufflé from Cooking with the Beer Goddess
Gluten-Free Apple Cider Cake with Samuel Smith's Organic Cider - from gfJules (490 KB .pdf)
Ayinger Beer Pancakes
Ayinger Pork Filet
Brewmaster's Onion Soup with Ayinger Ur-Weisse
Brown Beer Soup with Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel
Carbonnade à la Flamande - classic Belgian beef stew
Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Cake with Green's gluten-free Endeavour Dubbel - from gfJules (564 KB .pdf)
Fillet of Poached Sole with Orval Trappist Ale, Mushrooms, and Parsley (Nicole Darchambeau)
Flemish-Style Mussels (Paul Zocco)
Iced Celebrator Sabayon with Melon Sauce
Jasko's Chocolate Covered Chili
Leg of Veal Braised in Beer and Vegetable Stock with Ayinger Jahrhundert-Bier
Lindemans Framboise Cilantro Sorbet (Melissa Flynn)
Lindemans Framboise Lambic Sauce
Lindemans Framboise Lambic Soufflé
New Potatoes with Orval Trappist Ale and Sorrel (Nicole Darchambeau)
Orval Fondue (The Food Dude)
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lindemans Kriek Sauce (Emeril Lagasse)
Rabbit with Pineapple and Orval Trappist Ale (Nicole Darchambeau)
Rochefort 8 Ice Cream (Sean Paxton)
Rochefort 10 Crème Brûlée (Sean Paxton)
Rump of Beef in Beer Marinade with Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel
Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale French Dip
Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale & Farmhouse Cheddar Soup (Laraine Perri)
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout Mustard (Gary Marx)
Samuel Smith Strawberry Salad Dressing (Jody at McNally's Taproom )
Samuel Smith Raspberry Beer-sicle (Dennis McCoy)
St. Remy Roca (Sean Paxton)
Here are some recipes for cocktails made with beer and blended beer drinks:
Brandy Orange Renée
Cinnamon Apple (Nicole Santarelli, Liberty Taproom, Exeter, PA)
Cinnamon Apple Slice (from Wine Enthusiast Magazine)
Chocolate-Covered Raspberry - Sam Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout and Lindemans Framboise "For That Occasion."
Das Getränk (from Melt Bar & Grilled, Cleveland, OH)
Hessen Float (from Hessen Haus, Des Moines, IA)
Loki's Lemonade, which uses Ayinger Brauweisse as an ingredient (from Melt Bar & Grilled, Ohio)
Mango-Peach Habanero (Nicole Santarelli, Liberty Taproom, Exeter, PA)
Monsoon Lemonade, which uses Lindemans Framboise as an ingredient
Raspberry Cheesecake (Nicole Santarelli, Liberty Taproom, Exeter, PA)
Sparkling Cinnamon Apple Cocktail
(from Morton's Steak House
White Grape (Nicole Santarelli, Liberty Taproom, Exeter, PA)
White Raspberry (Tyler Stocker)