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The 7 Most Timeless Flavors to Enjoy with Beer

The 7 Most Timeless Flavors to Enjoy with Beer

Nothing enhances a great glass of beer quite as much as a food that really complements the beer’s flavor. That’s why the best microbreweries always serve great food. Even if you’re drinking at the most divey of your town’s dive bars, there’s a good chance that something’s available for you to munch on while you drink. The food heightens the experience.

Wine fanatics are always talking about how to select the ideal foods to pair with each type of wine. Well, beer easily offers just as much flavor variety as wine, if not more so. If you don’t believe that the right food pairing can make a great beer taste even better, it’s only because you haven’t experienced the right pairing yet. The next time you want to choose the perfect food to go with a beer that you’re looking forward to enjoying, try one of these 7 timeless flavor combinations.

Salty Snacks

When you’re drinking a very light beer such as a low-carb brew, nothing will help that beer go down quite as well as a salty snack. There’s a reason why so many bars will give you a bottomless bowl of peanuts, pretzels or tortilla chips to go with your buckets of Miller, Bud or Corona – it’s because the perfect pairing for an extremely fizzy light beer is salt. When you’re enjoying this classic pairing, though, why limit yourself to the local bar? Beer and salty snacks are perfect for all-day munching while you’re watching the day’s ball games or enjoying an afternoon at the beach. Light beers are ideal to enjoy with salty snacks because you can drink them all day without feeling bloated or weighed down.


The one non-food item on our list of timeless flavor pairings for beer is that all-time classic: the cigar. Specifically, the best type of cigar to enjoy with beer is a long, cool-burning cigar with a dark maduro wrapper. With the ideal cigar, you’ll enjoy notes of cream, chocolate and nutmeg that pair perfectly with a glass of good porter or stout. Enjoying a fine cigar with a glass of Trappist ale is also an experience that everyone should have at least once. If you vape, never fear; just find a good tobacco Vape Juice, and you can enjoy the same complexity of flavor without the smoke.


Have you ever heard the saying that you should never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink? Well, the same thing applies to beer. Actually, though, it’s a lot more fun to say that the ideal beer to pair with food is the beer that you’ve just used when cooking the meal! Perhaps that’s why a great pilsner or IPA is the perfect drink to enjoy with fried fish; it’ll enhance the yeasty and malty notes in the beer batter. A light beer is also great to enjoy with sushi; it’ll cut through the fattiness in fish like tuna without covering the flavor. If you’re enjoying something like lobster – which has a much stronger flavor – feel free to trade the pilsner for something a bit heavier like porter.


Nothing can enhance the yeasty notes of an aged cheese quite as well as a great beer – and since cheese can have such a wide variety of different flavors, the number of potential pairings is virtually endless. Perhaps one of the greatest expressions of how wonderful cheese and beer can be together is the famous Welsh rarebit. Alton Brown’s Welsh rarebit recipe combines strong cheddar cheese with porter and heavy cream. Pour the cheese sauce over crusty bread and enjoy. You can really taste the beer in this recipe, so feel free to use a more expensive porter; it won’t be wasted. If you’re in the mood for something that isn’t such a calorie bomb, try a soft-ripened cheese like brie with a fruit-infused wheat beer.


Speaking of fruit, there’s a good reason why there are so many fruit-infused beers on the market today – it’s because fruit and beer are absolutely delicious together. You can try just about any fruit with a lighter brew such as a wheat beer, and it’ll make for a wonderful pairing. Try pairing a wheat beer with a fruit tart or a fruit-filled pastry. It’ll make for a lovely light dessert – especially as an end to a heavier meal.


Stout is thought of by many as a dessert beer due to its instantly recognizable notes of cream and chocolate. Stout also has a much thicker mouthfeel than most other types of beer, which can make it feel like a luxurious end to any meal. You can enhance the dessert-like flavor of stout even more, though, by pairing it with an actual dessert. Cheesecake, dark chocolate and tiramisu are all options that you might find intriguing. The trick here, though, is to pair stout with a dessert that isn’t too sweet. If the dessert is sweeter than the beer, it’ll emphasize the beer’s bitterness and detract from the experience. Try to find a pairing in which the stout – not the dessert – is the sweetest thing you’re consuming.

Junk Food

Nothing goes quite as well with beer as a big plate of tasty junk food. That brings us back to the microbreweries mentioned at the beginning of this article. If you go to any great local microbrewery, you’re likely to find pizza, burgers or nachos – or perhaps all three of those – on the menu. There’s a good reason for that. It’s not just the fact that those foods are inexpensive to produce, and it’s not just because spent yeast from brewing makes a great starter for pizza dough – although those are both true. It’s because nothing offsets a greasy, fatty meal quite as well as a cold, crisp beer. Junk foods pair best with light-bodied beers like lagers, light ales and pilsners. You want something that cuts through the grease and is flavorful enough to stand up to assertive flavors like beef, pepperoni and tomato sauce. You generally don’t want a dark beer with junk food, though, because a greasy food usually isn’t ideal with a heavy-bodied beer.