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Typically when we think of food and libation pairings we assume that always means wine and cheese or wine andmeat or maybe even wine and junk food. With the growing prevalence of craft brewing in America however, we’re seeing a lot more tasting and pairing notes coming with our new favorite brews as well. The idea of pairing your alcoholic beverages along with dinner isn’t reserved to just the wine drinkers anymore.
If you’re at all skeptical of the idea or not quite sure exactly how you would go about pairing beer along with certain flavor profiles, we’ve compiled a short list of both junk food snacks that you’ve likely had before and their perfect complimenting style of beer.
Limon Lays + Ballast Point Grapefruit IPA
Unlike with wine, which needs to be paired according to opposing flavor profiles to create balance on the palate, beer and food have a more symbiotic relationship. You’ll be looking for more comparable flavors rather than flavors that counter each other. Beer and potato chips is as classic a combo as peanut butter and jelly, kicking it up a notch with the citrus flavors makes them even more addictive. Tart, salty, and refreshing.
Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies + Drake’s Drakonic Imperial Stout
Similar to dessert pairings with wine, you’ll want to pair your sweet treats with a big and bold brew. Imperial stouts without added sweetness like oatmeal or chocolate will still have a sweetly alcoholic finish but are smoky enough to not be overwhelmingly sweet. Pairing a vanilla cookie with milk chocolate filling with with a high gravity stout cuts the sweetness, plays up the chocolate, and finishes with it’s own inherent sweetness. Balanced, toasty, and warm.
Kettle Brand Backyard BBQ Chips + Kona Brewing Big Wave American Blonde Ale
In the same way you’d love a cold Budweiser or traditional lager to pair with your favorite BBQ staples, a cold refreshing blonde ale with a smoky and salty BBQ chip just might trick you into believing it’s Memorial Day weekend all over again. The blonde offering from Kona has a hint of wheaty sweetness that will bring out the underlying maple and brown sugar flavors from the chips. Nostalgic, smoky, and addicting.
Haagen Dazs Coffee Ice Cream + Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout
Revisiting the stout and dessert pairings, if you’re going for a more savory dessert like a tiramisu or creme brulee then you’ll want to opt for a stout with a little added flavor. A coffee ice cream has a subtle salty bite that when paired with a sweeter stout is a truly decadent dessert experience. Even better if you use the two to make a beer-shake, which is exactly what it sounds like. Stir a couple scoops into your chilled pint of beer, add a shot of whiskey to really rev it up. Rich, indulgent, and layered.
Sour Cream and Onion Pringles + Lagunitas Lil Sumpin’ Ale
Sour cream and onion is a favorite chip flavoring amongst a lot of folks, but it’s a hard combo to pair with alcohol. Let’s be honest, sour cream and onion flavored chips don’t really taste like real sour cream and real onions. We would probably pair a Mexican or Pale Lager with the real deal, but even if it’s artificial, sour cream and onion chips have a distinct flavor. Pairing with a stronger ale will play up the onion flavoring, where as before we would have wanted to tone it down. Lagunitas Lil Sumpin’ happens to be one of our favorites, but any slightly stronger ale would work. Savory, flavorful, and satisfying.