Beer Pairing

When at home, my normal Monday afternoon routine is to drop off our housekeeper, pop into our local grocery store to buy milk and the You Magazine, head home, make a cup of tea and sit down to the crossword puzzles.  I used to submit my entries each week but sadly never won any of the prizes.  No matter, it’s fun all the same completing the blockbusters. Pete made a trip home a while back and brought me 2 You magazines – oh what bliss to sit with pencil in hand and get the brain working again. 😀

In one of the issues was an article on beer and of late, there has been a lot of buzz about beer pairing so thought I would share the pairing portion of the article with you for what it is worth.

I don’t drink beer but do bake with it and a favourite that always goes down well as an accompaniment with a braai (barbecue) is Guinness Bread.

Phoenix - a local Mauritian beer


  • Look for matching flavours and aromas.  For instance, the herby, bitter taste of hops in beer goes well with lightly spiced food such as meat or fish.  Also experiment with contrasting flavours.  Try combining bitter beer with sweet dishes, for instance.
  • Match the richness of the food with the strength of the beer.  Delicately flavoured food, for instance, requires a soft beer; strongly flavoured beer (intensity is derived from among others alcohol content, malt character, hop bitterness or sweetness).
  • Think of ale as red wine and lager as white wine.
  • The more bitter the beer the more flavourful the food should be.
  • Match richly flavoured food with beer that has a higher alcohol content.

46 thoughts on “Beer Pairing

  1. Hi Mandy! Beer! Trust me, this post will be the ONLY post that I can’t relate. I don’t know why but I don’t like the beer taste at all… but…. I’m not a drinker so maybe in general I can’t “appreciate” drink like everyone. I really wish that I can drink and enjoy though. I need only 3 sips of wine to get drunk. And that happened tonight. My husband call me a cheap date. Arh…

  2. I was so surprised when I first got to Andalucía to see just how much beer they drink here – more than the Brits! I have to admit, an ice cold beer sometimes goes down a treat. In Belgium they love their different flavoured beers with a big bowl of mussels and a large plate of fries (and mayonnaise, of course!).

  3. Absolutely Mandy, I’ve done lots of events with beer pairing – they are awesome & often you can get the serious beer drinker to taste new foods simply because its paired with beers. Love a good beer myself so I’ve made quite a study out of it, it goes off a treat down in Oz as we’re huge beer drinkers here 🙂

  4. I love cooking with beer. It is so easy to use and offers so much flavor. Some of my favorite dishes to use it in are beer bread and New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp!

  5. Mandy, I am about to dump a can of beer in my braised beef right now… what a coincidence that I got to read this post 🙂

    • Hi Kim. I am not that spoilt, I promise. Drika (our housekeeper) only comes in 3 mornings a week. 😉 Think if I had to clean my own home all of the time, nobody would be allowed to sit on anything or touch anything or make anything dirty – I am bad I know. Have a happy weekend. 🙂 xo

  6. I never thought about beer pairing. I just always think of beer as beer. I know there’s light beers, lagers, flavored beers, etc., but the only time I “match” with beer is at a baseball game. 😉 They do go so well together.

  7. Your tips for cooking are terrific. I don’t drink a lot of beer because it is so filling. I do, however, cook with it on occasion. I’m always on the spy for recipes that use it. You’ve inspired me to make some original creations using the tips you provided. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. Great tip now I know which beer to pair to my dishes, I remember we have a restaurant here in NZ which I forgot the name, where they are famous for serving dishes with a great matching beer, similar to wine matching.

  9. Some excellent tips, thanks Mandy. I’m not a beer drinker so have never really thought about pairing it but, with the growth in popularity of boutique brewers here in Australia, it is worth thinking about.

  10. When I first started dating Hubster, I used to work a restaurant with an extensive international beer selection… A few times as I left work, I would custom select 6 beers to buy and take home. I always thought he liked all of them, but it turns out he prefers with the local microbrews!

  11. Guinness bread? Sounds amazing Mandy! I actually make Guinness chocolate cake which always goes down well too! Thanks for the pairing tips – I’m a bit rubbish at all that, so my guests usually have to figure it out for themselves! 🙂

  12. Since I started brewing my own beer, I’ve really come to appreciate the nuances of different styles of beer.

    I invariably have a beer to hand while I’m cooking – hence the glass of my brown ale lurking in the corner of the banner pic of my own blog! 😉

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