What’s Brewing? Pairings for that lager, IPA and every other kind of beer | TribLIVE.com
Food & Drink

What’s Brewing? Pairings for that lager, IPA and every other kind of beer

Mark Brewer
1532370_web1_gtr-liv-beer-05-081419
Submitted
Helltown Brewing’s Mischievous
1532370_web1_gtr-liv-beer-07-081419
Submitted
Penn Brewery’s Penn Gold
1532370_web1_gtr-liv-beer-04-081419
Submitted
Headley’s Brewing Co.’s Flash Lightning Speed Porter
1532370_web1_gtr-liv-beer-01-081419
Submitted
All Saints Brewing’s Crimson Halo
1532370_web1_gtr-liv-beer-06-081419
Submitted
Inner Groove Brewing’s Serious Moonlight
1532370_web1_gtr-liv-beer-03-081419
Submitted
North Country Brewing Co. ‘s Stone House Stout
1532370_web1_gtr-liv-beer-02-081419
Submitted
Coal Tipple Brewery’s Pit Pony

There are still a lot of parties and social gatherings happening as we finish the summer of 2019.

And where there are parties and gatherings, inevitably there is craft beer and food. You don’t have to be an expert on either subject to pair the two. With just a little knowledge, pairing craft beer styles with food can be a simple and quick thought process. And your guests will appreciate it.

Obviously, not all beers are created the same. They vary in color, taste and alcohol content while being unique in body and aroma. Which style you chose to pair will matter based on the food you’re serving. From this point choose a beer you’ve enjoyed before in this particular style or take a chance on something you haven’t tried, as long as the style matches the dish.

You’ll notice that many beers pair with similar foods so it’s not all that complicated once you do it a few times.

Here are a few craft beer styles and complementary dishes:

Lagers

Lagers are typically pale in color and have a crisp taste. They tend to be lower in alcohol and happen to be the most popular style we’ve been drinking since the end of Prohibition. In addition, lagers make a refreshing choice for summer enjoyment and for those who haven’t tasted a lot of craft beer before. Pair lagers with Buffalo wings, hot dogs, Asian cuisine with light sauces, fish and salads.

Wheat Beers

Many times fruits such as raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are brewed into wheat beers. They taste great and are a refreshing choice for the summer months, too. These work well with desserts such as tarts, pastries, fruit salads and light dishes with seafood and noodles.

India Pale Ales (IPA)

IPAs are versatile because of the vast variety of bitterness to citrus flavors they may or may not have. They complement spicy dishes including burritos, fajitas and anything with curry.

American Amber and Brown Ales

Amber and brown ales have a malty flavor and are darker in color due to the heavier roasted and darker colored malts used to brew them. Because of this they pair well with smoked sausage, burgers and chicken on the grill, ribs, pulled pork and most things spicy with intense flavors.

Porters and Stouts

Porters and stouts are dark in color and many have flavors of nuts, toffee, chocolate and coffee. Consider pairing these with dark dishes that have many of the same characteristics such as smoked meats, dishes with caramelized onions, along with soft cheeses, espresso pudding, coffee-flavored desserts and salty foods like oysters on the half shell and savory dark brown sauces.

Make a cheat sheet to keep on your refrigerator door or something you can stick in a kitchen drawer for quick reference of which of these craft beer styles will go best with the chicken, ribs, pasta, fish or maybe just dessert you’re serving.

I keep a cheat sheet on how long to cook steaks on the grill with different thicknesses. It works like a charm but oddly enough comes with some contemplation about doing the same thing on a few tests in school. Err… cheers?

Penn Brewery (Pittsburgh)

Penn Gold (ABV 5%)

​Lager (Munich Helles) which is malty, bready and sweet with flavors that all come together. Crisp and well balanced.

Coal Tipple Brewery (Burgettstown)

Pit Pony (ABV 5%)

Wheat beer with blueberries, orange, coriander and apricot.

Inner Groove Brewing (Verona)

Serious Moonlight (ABV 6.5%)

IPA with lots of citrus notes from Columbus, ElDorado and Mosaic hops.

All Saints Brewing (Greensburg)

Crimson Halo (ABV 5.3%)

Amber ale crafted to balance the hop profile with a toasty, sweet malt character, in both flavor and aroma. It has a nice medium body and a gentle, well-balanced finish.

Helltown Brewing (Mt. Pleasant and Export)

Mischievous (ABV 5%)

Brown ale with a big nutty taste. Finishes with a lingering malty flavor.

Headley’s Brewing Co. (Heidelberg)

Flash Lightning Speed Porter (ABV 5.2%)

Porter with a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Well layered with flavors revealing distinctive chocolate and coffee notes.

North Country Brewing Co. (Slippery Rock)

Stone House Stout (ABV 4.4%)

Stout with a roasted barley character that is further enhanced by the addition of oatmeal for an incredible silky finish.

Mark Brewer is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. He’s the author and illustrator of “Brewology, An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers.”

Categories: Lifestyles | Food Drink
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.