Beer Pairing 101

Credits-Philip Tseng 'Taste Buds'

Credits-Philip Tseng ‘Taste Buds’

Pairing beer with food is fun, easy and extremely versatile. whether you choose a food item that compliments or accentuates the beer, the pairing options are endless. Here are some suggested pairings for a variety of different brews:


  • Seafood
  • Chicken
  • Monterey Jack or Havarti cheese
  • Salad

Lighter brews pair best with food such as chicken, seafood, vegetables or light cheeses. Avoid pairing lighter beer with strong, heavy dishes, as the flavour notes of the beer can get lost.


  • Roasted or broiled chicken
  • Turkey or beer burgers
  • Caramel dessert
  • Port-Salut or Oka cheese

Amber or brown ales, especially those with a slightly sweet profile from roasted and toasted barley malt, pair great with chicken, burgers, tangy cheese and event dessert.


  • Spicy dishes (especially curry)
  • Gorgonzola or Cambozola cheese
  • Red meats (especially gamey meats such as bison)

IPA’s pair nicely with strong, bold food. The spice from the hops in IPA’s compliment spicy, rich food.

PORTER OR STOUT *My favourite beer to pair food with!*

  • BBQ or smoked food (sausage with caramelized onion or steak)
  • Chocolate dessert
  • Gruyère cheese

The richness of stouts and porters compliment BBQ or smoked food. Try a BBQ’d sausage topped with caramelized onions or a nice BBQ’d sirloin steak. For dessert, try a rich chocolate and raspberry torte for a heavenly pairing!


  • Fruit or sorbet
  • Chocolate dessert or cheesecake
  • Salad with vinaigrette
  • Gouda cheese

Lambic or fruit beer are desserts on their own or can be enjoyed as an aperitif (before a meal) or as a digestif (after a meal). Enjoy with dessert, fruit or with a crisp salad.


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