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Beer Goes Great With...

Pairing Beers with Food for Optimum Taste Enjoyment

There are three general rules of thumb when matching food with beer or wine:

1. Choose a beer or wine that either complements or contrasts with the dish. Think ‘do I want a flavor that ‘goes with’ this dish or one the ‘cuts through’ this dish?’ and select accordingly.

2. Choose a beer or wine based on the ‘weight’ of the dish…is it heavy, medium or light? Then choose a beer or wine that complements that weight…not by color but by ‘body.’

3. The kind of beer or wine you like can help you choose a new beer or wine. If you like lighter wines, you will like lighter beers and vice versa.

1. Light styles

⋅ Beer: lager, pilsener, dark lager, golden ale

⋅ Wine: Pinot Grigio, White Zinfandel, Riesling

Great with salads, chicken sandwiches, spicy pizzas and calzones, nachos, light pastas

2. Medium styles

⋅ Beer: amber ale or lager, red ale, pale ale, doppelbock, bock, steam, ESB, IPA, dunkel, some wheats/weizens, most ales

⋅ Wine: Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noirs, light Chardonnays

Great with burgers, meat pizzas, pepperoni, mushrooms, shrimp, fish & chips

3. Heavier styles

⋅ Beer: hefe’s, porters, stouts, barleywines

⋅ Wine: Cabernet, Chardonnay, varietal blends

Perfect with lasagna, Bolognese and marinara, steak, beef, sausage pizzas and calzones

Keep in mind that when pairing a beer or a wine with food, it is the same basic characteristics of both that should guide your choice…light, medium or heavy!

Here are some more specific beer pairing recommendations:

Amber Lager
Chili, burgers, BBQ

Pale Ale
Burgers, meat pies, cheeses

Amber or Red Ale
Chicken, seafood, burgers, spicy foods

Pilsener
Chicken, salads, brats, salmon

Porter
Smoked or roasted foods, BBQ, sausages

Dry Stout
Steaks, oysters, any hearty/rich foods

Märzen
Mexican foods, chicken, pork, spicy foods

Portions of this information provided by Old Chicago Pasta and Pizza, used with permission.