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Beer and Food Pairing
Transcript of Beer and Food Pairing
The Why of Pairing
The desirable flavours are highlighted in both the beer and the dish
Combination of the two invokes memory, emotion, and/or deeper thought
Pairing creates new flavours not originally present in either the beer or the dish
The Three C's
- Similar or compatible flavours present in both the beer and the food complement one another (e.g. An Indian curry with cloves resonates with the clove flavours found in a Dunkelweizen.)
- By offering an opposing flavour, the beer highlights a flavour in the dish or vice versa. (e.g. Mussels served with gueuze seem richer and sweeter due to the acidity of the beer)
- Some beer traits help refresh the palate by lifting, cleansing or removing rich or fatty flavours from the palate. Common “cutting” beer traits include carbonation, sourness, and bitterness, and to a lesser extent, alcohol and roastiness
Complements toasted and caramelized flavours in a variety of foods
Soothes/softens capsaicin “heat”
Depending on hop variety, can complement fruit, citrus, herb, and spice flavours
Esters - Harmonize with fruit flavours
Phenols (clove and peppercorn flavours)
Resonate with spices
Contrast fat and umami
Beer Elements to Consider
Sweetness/body (note that these are related)
Fermentation derived flavours (esters, phenols, etc.)
Special ingredients/processes (e.g. fruit, coffee, barrel-aging, etc.)
Food Elements to Consider
Flavour impact of individual ingredients
Sauces served alongside
Levels of fat, umami, sweetness, bitterness, saltiness, sourness, etc.
Cuts fat, umami, and sweetness
Accentuates capsaicin “heat”
Cuts fat, umami, and sweetness
Accentuates capsaicin “heat”
Can create harsh or metallic effects with certain foods (e.g. oily fish)
Can harmonize with bitter foods (e.g. bitter salad greens)
a. Complements chocolate, caramelized, and burnt flavours
b. Cuts fat
c. Contrasts sweetness
Can cut fat
Generally resonates with sweetness
Can accentuate capsaicin “heat”
Can brighten some food flavours
Can complement sour flavours
May favorably contrast fat, umami, or salt
Soothes capsaicin “heat” and other spices
Accentuated by saltiness
For complimentary or contrasting pairings, look to the hop and malt profile of the beer:
Herby hops - Herbs, rubs
Citrus hops - Vinegar, citrus, pepper
Roast malts - coffee, chocolate, smoked meats
Caramel malts – bbq, vegetables, stronger cheese
Honey malt - caramelization, fruits, softer cheeses
Blonde Abbey Ale
Ranging from semi sweet blond ales to fairly dry boozy trippels and golden strong ales, all share hints of banana, citrus, spice and cotton candy. The sugar used to brew these styles lightens the body of the bigger ales but the intense carbonation creates a billowy cloud-like head and feel of creaminess on the tongue
Winter – Roast turkey, cranberries, dressing and gravy
Spring – Stirfried chicken and bell peppers in sweet chili sauce
Summer – French toast with cream cheese and fresh berries
Fall – Maple ginger squash soup
A note on Pilsners and the lager family. Invariably the top
selling beer from any country (Guiness not withstanding)
will be a pilsner or pilsner like lager. Many of these are
great beers but not necessarily the ideal beer for pairing
with food from that region.
A beer list does not need to be massive to allow for pairings but should include:
belgian abbey ale.
When matching food to beer always pair by beer style first then region if desired.
Creating a Pairing
Match intensities of both beer and dish so that neither overpowers the other
Consider the flavour interactions to hone the pairing
Intensity of dishes and pairings general increases as the meal progresses
Work with themes
Regional foods usually work with local beers but...
Creating a pairing
Designing a Meal
Classic beer and food pairings
Dark Abbey Ale
Dark, roasty, brooding with a range from sweet to very dry and from light bodied to viscous. Stouts highlight char and roast flavours and contrast with salt. The chocolate/coffee notes also find harmony with desserts.
Winter – Molten chocolate lava cake with bourbon whipped cream
Spring – Glazed ham with roasted yams
Summer – Blue cheese & bacon burger on onion roll
Fall – Fresh shucked oysters and horseradish
Wheat Beer/ Hefeweizen
Whether the citrus, vanilla, tang of a wit beer or the banana, clove, cerealy creaminess of a Hefeweizen
either will shine with lighter asian inspired fare. It seems like breakfast and brunch dishes were designed for wheat beers or perhaps it was the other way around
Winter - Goat cheese and herb omlette
Spring – Spring greens with lemon olive oil vinaigrette
Summer – Pad thai noodles
Fall – Mussels in lemons grass and coconut milk
Dark strong ales are just that: complex, rich, dark, strong often sweet on the finish with a caramel note. Dubbels are less intense with a drier often chocolatey finish but share similar notes of dark fruits, spice and raisins. Both share intense carbonation that let them cut richer dishes.
Winter - Ale braised beef short ribs over dirty rice
Spring - Raisin bread pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream
Summer - Tacos of grilled pork loin and black berry, red onion salsa
Fall - Roast duck with orange glaze and cinnamon dusted parsnip
India Pale Ale
A true showcase of hops ranging from herbal to earthy, grassy to citrusy, tropical to stonefruit. The bitterness of this ale is a nice counterpoint to spicier dishes and will nicely accentuate spices.
Winter – Panko crusted 5 cheese macaroni
Spring – Hand made pasta tossed with garlic and herbs
Summer – Cuban sandwich with bbq spiced fries
Fall – Olive oil poached tuna nicoise salad
British versions of the style will be herbal and tea like compared to the more citrus, mango, resiny North American versions. For every pizza, burger or sandwich there is a pale ale that will enhance the sensory experience.
Winter – Herb crusted prime rib with garlic mash
Spring – Grilled chicken caesar salad
Summer – Roasted tomato and asiago pizza
Fall – Fried halibut and chips
The worlds most popular and most misrepresented beer style. Comfortable with hockey, chicken wings and potato chips yes but pour a golden example into a fluted glass and serve with sushi (or caviar) to see it's true diversity
Winter - Fondue of havarti with apples
Spring - Spot prawns and asparagus
Summer - Chipotle salmon quesadillas
Fall - Smoked trout eggs benedict
Used in place of water or other liquid as an ingredient or cooking medium
Concentrating beer through cooking intensifies non-volatile flavours
Bitterness can intensify exponentially and may become unpleasant
Malt flavours and sweetness increase, sugars caramelize
Volatile hop and ester flavours decrease and may disappear entirely
Astringency/burnt flavours of roasted malt can increase and may become unpleasant
Delicate hop and fermentation flavours in beer can be brought to a dish by not cooking the beer (e.g. using an IPA in a salad dressing)
Cooking With Beer
The “Science” of tasting
Beer with food or Beer vs. food
Cooking with beer
PICA Culinary Diploma
BJCP Certified Rank
BC Beer Awards Founder
ISG Sommelier Diploma
Brewery Creek Liquor Store
Not so much rules as guidelines
Specific preparations, will vary
Even beer styles allow for significant deviation
Time of day, setting and sunspots
Everything is Subjective
”Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it.”
Food and beer have well defined science but our sense of taste is barely understood.
Personal preference is a very important factor, but are our preferences our own?
Chemical sense perceived by specialized receptor cells that make up taste buds which can be broken into:
The Evolution of Taste
Sour: could be healthy, like oranges or lemons, or spoiled, like rotten milk.
Salt: foods had important vitamins and minerals.
Sweet: usually high in calories. First taste we crave
Bitter: often indicates poison. Last taste we develop appreciation for. IPA
Umami: savoury richness. Broth. MSG
Fat: make evolutionary sense
Evolution of Taste
Some people have inherited genetic traits that make certain foods taste disgusting.
We respond to our ancestral favorites, even to our detriment.
Supertasters, have abnormally high
concentrations of taste receptors
meaning bland food tastes perfectly
Ketchup: childhood superfood
Combination of taste, smell, tactile and thermal sensations
Flavour is dulled by inability to
smell. Taste is not.
Taste is numbed by cold.
Our sense of smell is probably the
largest contributor to flavour
The human tongue can distinguish only among a handful of distinct qualities of taste, while the nose can distinguish among hundreds of substances, even in minute quantities.
The olfactory system is the only human sense that bypasses the thalamus and connects directly to the forebrain. Memory
Different people smell different odors and most of these differences are caused by genetic differences.
90% of what we perceive as flavour is contributed by our sense of smell
90% of the aroma in beer is in the head
A glass please