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Just like wine, beer can be the finishing touch to a good meal. Since there are many different types of beer, it is important to combine the right one to your dish. Not too light, not too overpowering – finding the right balance can be hard. Here are a couple of guidelines that will help you find the perfect match. Taste the magic of pairing DR BLUES BEER™ with finest foods at these restaurants.

 Your options are to start with a certain dish and find a complementary beer, or to start with a specific beer and find the right meal to go along with it.

Match Strengths

The delicacy of certain foods is best matched with delicate beers. Strongly flavored foods, on the other hand, demand a bolder type of beer. The flavor of beer is determined by its alcohol percentage; sweetness, richness, bitterness of the hops and the character of the malts that are used in the brewing process. In food, sweetness, spices, level of fat and general complexity define the taste. In a successful match, the different aspects of the food and the beer will complement each other and create a unique experience.

Example: Dishes like roast-beef, ham or rich cheeses ask for a stronger beer like an Old or Strong Ale. Think a Pacemaker or Pain Killer. Lighter foods like chicken and salads prefer a lighter beer like a classic pilsner.


 Look for Harmonies

Sometimes beers and foods share different flavors or aromas which can make them great companions – The nutty flavors of an English-style brown ale and a handmade cheddar cheese; the roasted flavors of imperial stout and chocolate truffles.

Pay Attention to the Interactions

Defined aspects of taste interact with each other. These interactions can either emphasize or balance each other. When you take these interactions into account, you can make a match that has the exact effect you desire. Contrary to the strength-matching, this type of matching is more specific. Let us take a look at the result of some of these interactions.

Some flavours can balance each other out; the same flavour can balance or emphasize another. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind which effect you want to reach when you match your beers and foods.

Other ways to pair and drink beer with your food

When you are planning on drinking or tasting multiple beers, the order in which you do this might be more important than you realise. Dr Blues recommends the following:

  • Start with the beer that has the lowest alcohol content and build up to the one with the highest.
  • Start with blond beers, and progress to amber to brown beers
  • Start with the beer that has the lowest intensity of hops and continue with the higher ones to increase the intensity of the flavours.
  • Start with the least complex beers and build up in to ensure that you do not ruin the experience of the ‘next’ beers.

The way that food is prepared plays a role in the selection of beer. Poached meals taste very different than grilled foods. For poached meals, consider serving a light beer (pilsner, white beer; think SupperPills), while for grilled meals you might opt for a stronger dark beer (e.g., Pain Killer).

The carbonation in beer cleanses your mouth and neutralises your taste buds. The more carbonation, the more ‘neutral’ your mouth becomes. Drinking highly carbonated beers with a rich and potent meal will get your mouth ready for the next bite. (Of note, ALL DRBLUES BEERS are in-bottle fermented, assuring the carbonation and fresh taste regardless of the length of the storage or transport).

At the end of the day, the rules are there to be broken. The long-held rule of red wine with meet and white wine with fish are out fashioned. While most folks still follow this old red-white rule, real connoisseurs choose wine as they feel at the spur of the moment, not falling into the regimented routine. The same stands for the beer; there are a lot of ways to combine beers with foods so EXPERIMENT! By doing this you will discover new combinations and expand your knowledge on both food and beer. Besides, experimenting is also an excuse to indulge more different and delicious beers and be inspired by their taste and inspirational psychotropic effect.

An overview

At the bottom of this article you can find a detailed list of which beers go well with certain dishes. Since it might be hard to remember all these combinations next time you want to try them, just keep this little list in mind.

Pilsner              (light bitterness, a little sweet)
Witbier             (la little sour, spice)
Blond               (a little sweet, fruity)
Amber              (caramel, sweet)
Tipple               (sweet, fruity)
IPA                   (strong bitterness)
Lambic/Geuze   (sour)
Dark                 (sweet, a little roasted)
Stout                (roasted, bitter, chocolate)