Beer and Food Combinations
The combination of food and beer is a fundamental element to achieve perfect harmony between all the sensations perceived during the tasting, thus allowing the best enhancement of the organoleptic characteristics of both foods.
The combination by contrast of flavors consists in combining beers with antithetical characteristics to those of food, pursuing the goal of cleaning the mouth and the predisposition to welcome the next portion. Sweet foods (rice, pasta, starchy and sugary vegetables, crustaceans, cooked ham, rare meat) require a certain hardness of beer, provided by acidic, savory components and a marked effervescence.
Elements with a marked bitter tendency, such as grilled meats, spicy foods or added aromatic herbs, bitter salads and artichokes, are excellently counterbalanced by very soft beers. The same considerations can be made in the case of dishes with an acid tendency, such as condiments with tomato sauces, marinades with lemon or vinegar.
Dishes based on oily meats, such as fatty pork, and succulent foods (stews, fish soups) find the right accompaniment to particularly alcoholic and bitter beers. Similarly, in general terms, fatty foods (cured meats, cheeses) are well suited to beers with a marked effervescence, good alcohol content and tannins.
The combination by similarity considers the aspects of structure and intensity and taste-olfactory persistence. Foods with a consistent structure require equally full-bodied and structured beers, on the contrary with delicate foods drinks with less character are recommended. Particularly fragrant foods, such as those to which spices and aromas have been added, find the right balance with beers of particular aromaticity.
Style and Recommended Combinations
- LIGHT ALE: Sandwiches, medium-aged cheeses
- BRITISH BITTER: Sandwiches, fresh cheeses
- SCOTTISH ALES: Red meats, roasts and stews, if sweet suitable for desserts
- PALE ALE: First courses, light meats, cured meats, cheeses
- INDIA PALE ALE: First courses dishes with vegetables, vegetables, artichokes and asparagus
- ALTBIER: Savory first courses, cheeses, game, if sweet suitable for desserts
- BROWN ALE: Red meats, roasts and stews, medium-aged cheeses
- NEWCASTLE BROWN ALE: Red meats, roasts and stews, cheeses medium-aged
- STRONG ALES: Red meats, medium and long-matured cheeses, including blue cheese
- PORTER: Red meats
- STOUT: Red meats, game and long-matured cheeses
- FRENCH ALES: First courses, light meats, cold cuts, cheeses
- BELGIAN ALES: Savory first courses, cheeses, game, if sweet suitable for desserts
- STRONG BELGIAN ALES: Roasts and stews, cured meats, molluscs and grilled fish, long-aged cheeses and goats
- BELGIAN SPECIALTIES ALE: Red meats, roasts and stews, medium-aged cheeses
- WEIZEN: Pork, fish
- AMERICAN LIGHT LAGER: Appetizers and light snacks
- EUROPEAN LIGHT LAGER: Appetizers, salads, tomatoes and sour vegetables, pizza, stretched curd cheeses
- GERMAN AMBER LAGER: Red meats, roasts, medium-aged cheeses, cured meats
- EUROPEAN DARK LAGER: Red meats, roasts, medium-aged cheeses, cured meats, if with residual sugar suitable for desserts
- BOCK: First courses, light meats, cured meats, cheeses
- FARO: Between meals or with foods with a strong sweet tendency (rice and pasta with butter)
- GUEUZE: Food with a sweet tendency, even with fruit desserts if flavored
- FRUITBEER: Fruit desserts and aperitifs