Commercial Beers -- Blind Tasting Comments...
1000 years ago when the French took over England for
a short while,
they convinced everyone that everything French is more refined and more
appealing. The idea that wine is superior to beer is still
by many today. This is just not true.
Beer has more styles and variety of flavor
components than wine.
Beer's history is just as full and rich as wine's.
Garrett Oliver at the Brooklyn Brewery
table at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival.
Beer's carbonation is a great palate cleanser -- it lifts
the tongue like champagne.
Wheat beers and Belgian Wit beers are great with brunch --
flavors compliment the foods on a typical brunch spread.
The earthy flavors of mushrooms go well with rich, malty
The bitterness of a beer is easily compared to the bitter
wine. Any foods that go well with a dry, tannin-rich red wine
also go well with a dry, hoppy Pale Ale.
Thai food is delicious with the citrusy, resiny flavors of
hops. Lime compliments Thai food, and many compare the taste of
hops with grapefruit and other citrus.
Double Bocks and German Rauch (smoked) Beers are excellent
Mexican foods. Earthy black beans and roasted chilis blend well
these rich lagers.
Dishes that have slight sweetness are perfectly matched
malty beers. Examples: pizza with an Amber/Brown Ale,
with a Porter, fish with orange sauce along with a Belgian Wit (made
orange peel and coriander), poached or steamed seafood with a Belgian
fried/sauteed/caramelized foods with an caramely English Bitter.
The acidity of a Wheat Beer is wonderful with an acidic
Spicy foods turn wine flavors hot, but beer goes extremely
spicy foods. Foods flavored with cilantro and lime are delightful
with a bitter American Ale.
Hoppy American Ales also are great alongside a dish of
Champagne and caviar are horrible together -- the caviar
makes the wine
taste fishy. Next time, try a dry, hoppy Pilsner with caviar --
Duck with a raisiny, sweet, fruity sauce is scrumptious
with a Fruit
Beer (especially one with cherries) or a dark Trappist Ale (with plum
raisin flavors from fermentation).
Desserts are best with a rich, malty Stout or a beer made
fruit (Fruit Beers made with extracts usually lack flavor and
But Fruit Beers with fruit desserts is a combination that does NOT work
well. Fruit Beers do go well with chocolate, and a sour Belgian
(raspberry) Lambic is like heaven with a slice of cheese cake.
Garrett Oliver recently conducted a tasting that compared
and beers match with many cheeses. The tasting panel included
beer and wine enthusiasts, chefs, and food authors and critics.
beer and cheese combinations WON! Beers are fantastic with
Experiment with different beers and cheeses and find complex, unified
that suit your palate. Search out top quality cheeses that are
from their countries of origin and pair them with fresh, craft brewed
For a list of beer and cheese pairing suggestions, see Owen
Ogletree's beer and cheese page.