Beer and food are one of the best combinations ever. Nothing beats a sunny day with beer and some light food. While we know some general food that goes best along with our favorite beers when it comes to having an exceptional experience, we must do some research.
To save you time and energy, we have done the necessary beer-tiful research and have come up with the deciding factors of the best combinations. Let us see them.
Tastes in Beer
First, know the composition of beer to know what to include and what not to. Beers taste so because of the following compositions and their different effects.
- Hops: the hop flowers add to the bitterness of beers. Different hop flowers create different levels of bitterness. They also add floral content to beers. But not all hop beers are bitter. There are exceptions because fruity flavors that add sweetness to beers to balance the bitterness. Adding malty flavors also balances the bitterness and makes them calm.
- Bitter: A good beer should be bitter. Some like bitterness and some find it less tolerable. A beer has listed components that make us calculate how bitter it can be. Just look for more added fruits if you want sweetness. They also carry an IBU number. IBU is International Bitterness Units or unit levels of bitterness in beers.
- Malt: Malt can come from the barley grain, and sometimes brewers add wheat or oats. The roast barley makes the beer nutty and toasty. The roasting process also releases the sugars in the barley to caramelize. This process makes the beer sweet with a caramel taste.
- Dark: Dark is not just the color. Much like dark chocolates, dark beer is a variety in itself. Dark beers are dark color roasts of malt grains. This roasting gives them a more prosperous and hefty taste. Dark beers also taste like dark chocolate and coffee.
- Light: Light beer is the first light in color. They are clean and crisp and taste refreshing. Light beers are not as strong as dark beers and are not entirely bitter or hoppy. Hence they might have low alcohol content too.
Elements Determining Food and Beer Pairing
Now that we know to judge beers without tasting them, thanks to the lesson on their composition, let’s move to the final step. Here are the 3 C’s that decide which food goes best with which beer.
- Compare: Compare and contrast pairing works best if you want to shock and surprise your taste buds. To do this, choose intense, dominant flavors of beer. They are sweet, rich, and can be oily. Then, depending on the intense flavors, you can add opposite-tasting food.
- Counterpart: Counterpart, as pairs works best if you are a perfectionist and don’t experiment to destroy your palette. Then you must pair rich foods with heavy beers, like stouts or porters. Couple light food with light beers or wheat beers.
- Cleanse: What if you want to cleanse your palette before going for an enriching experience to try contrast food pairing? We have got the issue covered. Beer can also be a palate cleanser. After eating spicy, fried, or overpowering food, go for the light beer to wash down the taste. Alternatively, you can use food to balance and wash the bitterness of beers, such as an IPA. To do this, make use of fatty foods like nuts.