Craft Beer Food Pairing

If you’re sending extra money for the best beer by going out to your local micro-brewery and helping yourself to some fine, handcrafted beer, why not go all the way? It only takes a bit of research to find a high-quality beer in your local area.

As you probably already know, there is an explosion of micro-breweries throughout the United States. Everybody has their own distinct ideas as to what makes for an amazing glass of beer.

You have all these tremendous selections and ultimately with a little effort and research, you can find the “perfect” craft beer as far as your taste goes.

Well, why not go all the way and pair this with the best type of food and create the ultimate dining experience?

As you probably already know, if you’re a beer fan, nothing rounds out a well-cooked meal with a nice glass of beer. It makes for a truly well-rounded and amazing experience, especially when paired with a great conversation with the people that you care for the most.

Sounds awesome, right?

Well, to give you a place to start, here are some ideas on how to pair a craft beer with certain types of food.

Of course, everybody has different personal preferences. Some people prefer saltier food, others prefer a different taste profile.

Still, this craft beer and food pairing guide should give you a place to start. Feel free to mix and match and tweak a few details until you get a pairing that works best for you.

What to Look For

Your guiding strategy should be to pair the diverse flavor combinations of beer and their specific taste and aroma with food that would complement these qualities while simultaneously highlighting and celebrating the food’s flavor and aroma and texture in their own right.

It is a delicate balancing act. This is not just the question of fitting the right piece in the right slot. It also is a matter of taste because different people have different preferences and a lot of these differences are nuanced and subtle.

So keep that in mind when looking through these different recommendations so you can pick out areas where you can experiment and make minor adjustments to create an experience that tastes just right.

Top Craft Beer and Best Food-Pairing Guide

#1 Clean and crisp craft beer, like American amber lager and Bohemian-style pilsner, goes well with greens like wild rice, polenta, farro, or arborio.

A good dish for this type of pairing is Italian creamy risotto.

#2 Malty and sweet craft beer, like the English-style brown ale and German-style Hefeweizen, goes well with beans and legumes like lentils, fava beans, chickpeas, and green beans.

A good dish that has all these features is grilled halibut with pole beans. You can also try falafel.

#3 Fruit and spice craft beer, like the Belgian-style saison and German-style Hefeweizen, goes well with shellfish like clams, scallops, lobster, and crab.

You might want to try mussels with garlic, parsley, and butter with this type of beer.

#4 Sour, tart, and funky craft beer, like the American Brett and Belgian-style Flanders, goes well with rich meats and vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beef, and lamb.

With this in mind, you might want to try grilled rib-eye steak with potatoes on the side.

#5 Hoppy and bitter craft beer, like The American pale ale and the American brown ale, goes well with duck, quail quinoa, and farro.

The good place to start is roasted quail with farrotto.

#6 Hoppy and bitter or dark and roasty craft beer, like American pale ale and English-style brown porter, goes well with butter, olive oil, duck or pork fat, and dairy.

With this type of beer, you might want to try cashew butter and red pepper jelly on toasts.

#7 Dark and roasty, like the Irish-styled rice stout and German-style Schwarzbier, goes well with vegetables like carrots, onions, mild peppers, and mushrooms.

A good example of this is green chili stuffed portobello with a nice mug of this type of beer.

#8 Belgian-style Trippel and English-style pale ale go well with cheeses such as brie as well as fruit.

The typical cheese plate with some grapes on the side goes well with this type of drink.

#9 Imperial Indian pale ale and Belgian-style dubbel go well with sausages, pork tenderloin, and terrine.

If you want to serve pork chops with a bit of apple relish on the side, this is the best beer to serve it with.

#10 British-style barley wine and Belgian-style fruit lambic go well with creamy desserts like cheesecakes, ice cream, moose cake, and crème brûlée.

Don’t think for a second that just because you’re pairing a cold mug of beer with food that you can be slack. Different beers impact the taste and overall enjoyment of your meal differently. Pair them carefully.


Let’s put it this way, you might want to exercise the same care you would when figuring out what bottle of wine would go best with that awesome meal you’re planning.

Focus on the overall experience you want the diners to walk away with. Make it a celebration of taste, friendship, and great times!