Beer & food pairing

On July 9th, we talked all about beer and food pairing!

We recapped the main points from this week’s listening and reading: the principles of beer and food pairing and some of the different flavour interactions we can expect.

Then we discussed everyone’s experiences and experiments with beer and food pairing.

To listen back, find a recording of the session below:

Recommended listening/reading:

Beer with Nat’ podcast – Bonus Episode with Lotte Peplow

Normally on my podcast, ‘Beer with Nat’, I chat with women in the beer industry about their careers. But Lotte Peplow, UK Representative for the US Brewers Association, is SO passionate about beer and food pairing, she asked if we could record an episode dedicated to it, as well. She invited me around to her home, prepared three dishes and we paired them with four different beers.

I start the episode by introducing the principles of beer and food pairing, then Lotte talks us through each pairing she’s prepared and provides lots of resources for further education.

You’ll find the recipes and all the resources Lotte mentions on the show page here:

And the episode is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify here:

(P.S. To learn more about Lotte’s career in beer, check out Episode #008!)

Cicerone® Certification Program US Certified Cicerone® Syllabus – Part V: Pairing Beer with Food

As the syllabus mentions, there are several different models for beer and food pairing, so here the Cicerone Certification Program “present[s] common concepts and accepted principles.”

I find this resource helpful as it goes into more detail on what determines the intensity of both a beer and a dish, along with a breakdown of possible interactions by ingredient.

Scroll down to the bottom of page 21 for Part V:

From Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer (2nd ed.) – “Beer and food: Common flavours”

Finally, for the visual learners, this chart might help make some of the common beer and food flavours a bit easier to see.

“Beer & food: Common flavours”


Beer & Chocolate Pairings

Here are a few of my tried and tested recommendations:

Duvel Tripel Hop Citra + Lemon White Chocolate (Cafe Tasse)

  • Why it works: The lemon in the chocolate resonates with the citrusy hop notes in the beer. Plus the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate provides a nice contrast to the beer’s high bitterness.

Fuller’s London Porter + Milk Chocolate (Green & Black’s)

  • Why it works: The caramelly, chocolately flavours in the English porter perfectly complement the creamy sweetness of the milk chocolate.

Boon Kriek + Dark Chocolate, 70%+ (Green & Black’s)

  • Why it works: As dark chocolate is quite bitter, this sweeter kreik has a bold sweet-and-sour cherry flavour that blunts the bitterness slightly and helps to draw out the chocolate’s sweetness.

Beer & Cheese Pairings:

I’ve turned to beer expert Randy Mosher on this one. These recommendations are from Chapter 7 of Tasting Beer, “Beer and Food”:

  • A peppery saison + a creamy bloomy-rind cheese
  • A toasty, deep brown ale + a nutty, firm sheep’s or cow’s milk (like Comte or Gruyere)
  • A big, hoppy pale ale + a rich creamy blue or Gorgonzola
  • A big or imperial stout + a meaty, caramelly well-aged Gouda
  • A barley wine + Stilton or other intense, aged blue

Other Pairings:

As I mentioned earlier, the ‘Beer & food pairing’ topic is already live on the the Discovering Beer community, so if you have other must-try pairings that you love, please share your recommendations there so that others can give them a go, too.