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Drinking beer with spicy food

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by craftbrew502, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. I've noticed Spicy foods kill the flavor of most IPAs. Any good beers that go well with spicy foods?
    scottdavene likes this.
  2. 1424IpA

    1424IpA Savant (465) California Nov 2, 2012 Beer Trader

    Budweiser black crown...?
    Sam_Frank likes this.
  3. What sort of spicy? Ruthless Rye is a good one for Thai or New Mexican(as in State of New Mexico)
  4. TypsiYpsi

    TypsiYpsi Savant (420) Michigan Jul 27, 2012 Beer Trader

    I like IPA's and spicy food together. I find the hops and bitterness go well with the spice, but just my opinion. I don't generally like porters or stouts with spicy food as I don't think those flavors hold up as well to the heat.
  5. dap325

    dap325 Aficionado (200) New York Apr 2, 2009

    I've always loved a good IPA with spicy food. If its too spicy the beer isn't hoppy enough. If its too hoppy, the food isn't spicy enough.
  6. ^ I second The fact that IPA ' s are good with some spice.
  7. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (415) New York Jul 16, 2011

    Love spicy food... ever notice many countries w/ spicy cuisines have lagers dominating the market? (red stripe, kingfisher...) Must be a reason. (then again, lagers dominate in many markets)
    Once I popped open a nice stout w/ my indian food. Mistake. Just like your IPA, my stout couldn't compete w/ a good curry!
  8. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Savant (485) Pennsylvania Jan 23, 2007

    Chimay Grande Reserve
  9. Just seems like the flavor gets masked and your left with just the bitterness.
  10. stayclean

    stayclean Savant (370) Wisconsin Mar 17, 2012

    The last time I made chili I couldn't taste my Heady Topper at all.
    Lantern likes this.
  11. I like to pair Rogue Chipotle Ale with my chili (actually tried to make a reduction of a small amount of it for the base; didn't work as well as I had hoped), but as far as other spicy foods go, a good APA is what I reach for most of the time.
  12. I usually prefer a Saison, such as Hennepin, or Orval (Belgian pale ale). If not, I'll go with an IPA. As a reference, I'm usually drinking these with Thai food.
    BedetheVenerable likes this.
  13. yamar68

    yamar68 Champion (910) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    As you can see, most people will suggest an IPA. I tend to disagree...

    I eat spicy food exclusively and in my opinion, an IPA doesn't offer any compliments. I'd reach for a Tripel, Berliner, Belgian Pale or anything that is light and flavorful. I've found Zwickels to be especially tasty next to anything that features loads of spicy masala.
    Bobo77, dagimp, JxExM and 3 others like this.
  14. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,045) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Beer Trader

    Viennas and Dunkels work very well. Heck, a classic one is actually a Dunkel-Vienna (Negra Modelo). Go up a few notches and try some Ayinger Altbairisch, great stuff with (or without) Mexican food!
    BedetheVenerable and stayclean like this.
  15. I had buffalo cauliflower paired with a Matilda the other night and it was divine! The sour Brett funk cut right through the spice and the remaining flavors melded quite delicatably. I will be trying similar Belgian pale ales with spicy food again!
  16. Ghost Face Killah.
  17. yamar68

    yamar68 Champion (910) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    Putting all kinds of thought into your posts as usual.
    ant880 and lilnicky068 like this.
  18. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x Advocate (665) Massachusetts Aug 10, 2007 Beer Trader

    there are basically two schools of thought on this. masochistically ratchet up the capsaicin intensity with more resinous hops, or go for the malt, with less hops. i tend toward the latter, but that is a minority opinion here in hophead/extreme beer territory. i think malty, pale-to-amber lagers are great with extreme heat. the more hops and the higher the alcohol, the more unpleasant distortion happens on the palate, in my opinion.
    Cdax, skivtjerry, JulianC and 2 others like this.
  19. lilnicky068

    lilnicky068 Savant (395) Kentucky Jan 8, 2010 Beer Trader

    I think this sums it up perfectly.
  20. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Savant (325) Nebraska May 25, 2005

    i like indian food with citrus leaning ipa's
  21. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Savant (340) California Nov 29, 2012

    i have insane tolerance for spicy food. and love IPAs. so for me it's all good. i understand that some people are on the more mellow end of the spice scale
  22. Mild, perfect harmony , the beer and food improve each other. Try it and look no further.
    BedetheVenerable likes this.
  23. I love spicy food. The hotter the better. I'm not huge on IPAs when it comes to most spicy foods, however. I actually prefer something a bit cleaner in order to cleanse my palate after a few bites, letting me experience the flavors of the meal along with the beer as well. Prima Pils is usually my go-to, and (now that it's year-round) Surly Hell make damn fine pairings for all types of spicy foods.
  24. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x Advocate (665) Massachusetts Aug 10, 2007 Beer Trader

    it's not a matter of tolerance. i'll eat habaneros and ghost chilies just fine. it's a matter of preference of what i want accentuated at a certain moment or not.
    devlishdamsel likes this.
  25. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Advocate (565) Illinois Apr 6, 2012 Beer Trader

    I personally like spicy food (like hot wings) with a hoppy pale ale or IPA. I think the hop bite helps cut through the spiciness
  26. GCurlow

    GCurlow Aficionado (225) Washington Oct 13, 2005

    Hoppy beers and spicy food clashes. Intensifies the heat, draws out excess bitterness, and accentuates the alcohol. There's no balance.

    Use spicy food and beer pairings like wine. An off dry Riesling balances the heat. It's the see saw effect of balance.

    Pairings should be about food friendliness and deliciousness on the palate.
  27. Im a spice tray sort of person at a thai place, i dont want the hops interfering with my spice! I generally wait to drink beer after this sort of meal, but if i did it would be something more mellow. The jasmine ipa ive had might actually work however. the jasmine seemed to mellow out the hops and make it more of a clean beer.
  28. What, that wouldn't be a good beer to pair with spicy food? Spicy food, spicy beer - makes sense to me.
  29. My mother's adage was "a good contrast beats a poor match" which is why mild is so brilliant with spicy foods.
  30. tai4ji2x

    tai4ji2x Advocate (665) Massachusetts Aug 10, 2007 Beer Trader

    to be somewhat fair, for most intents and purposes, practically nobody has any idea what a "mild" is anyway...
  31. SStein

    SStein Advocate (520) Colorado Dec 26, 2012 Beer Trader

    I prefer something more mellow with my spicy food. If I am eating something spicy, I want to taste the spice. I like a Belgian Strong Ale like: Rochefort 8, Chimay Grande Reserve; or a a good Hefeweizen. I prefer to eat something more citrusy with IPAs.
  32. cyraschris

    cyraschris Aficionado (180) Florida Dec 15, 2012

    I am quickly discovering that while ill enjoy the occasional IPA, I'm certainly NOT a hophead. For casual drinking I lean towards quads and BSDA's. So with that being said, as a few mentioned the spicy takes some of the edge off of the hops, so IPA and spicy works great for me. Still lots of flavor with a cut against the hoppiness. So as with all things beer, I'd say it depends a lot more on your personal tastes and preferences than what any magazine, expert, or forum member thinks :)
  33. as a New Mexican, i thank you for differentiating our food from mexican food. It is entirely different. And yes Ruthless Rye is a good pairing.
  34. mmmbirra

    mmmbirra Savant (410) Italy Apr 19, 2009

    IPA's really don't do it for me. I prefer something lighter and crisper. A good helles lager(e.g. augustiner, wieninger), or perhaps a pilsner, paired with some spicy food beats an IPA any day.
  35. endovelico

    endovelico Savant (345) Portugal Jul 25, 2008

    I like very flowery IPA's/APA's with the spicy food actually. Never go with overly alcoholic brews though, it will greatly enhance the spiciness.
  36. fehrminator

    fehrminator Advocate (570) North Carolina Jan 26, 2008 Beer Trader

    With Thai food I tend to think that fruited sours/saisons and ginger beers pair well. Off the top of my head, Westbrook White Thai, NB Tart Lychee and CCB Guava Grove have all been fantastic with ginger fish, pad thai, red curry, etc. It's nice to have something that takes the edge off of the heat but I also look for something that complements the food and adds something to the experience.
  37. Brew33

    Brew33 Advocate (690) Ohio Oct 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    My go to for spicy food is GLBC Dortmunder Gold. Not too sweet, not too bitter, but stands up to the heat.
  38. Sometimes citrusy IPAs, sometimes fruity, yeasty, light Belgian ales, quite honestly, simple American-style wheats like Boulevard Wheat or Goose Island 312 work well as palate cleansers as well, with their clean, citrusy and yeast-tang flavors.
  39. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    When I had Jacks Abby Ginger and Juice I thought immediately of Thai food, but it would possibly be overload as I think on it.

    Anyway...i like lighter/sweeter style with the spice, but actually prefer plain old boring iced tea. Maybe a wheat or something with more malty character.
  40. Chocolate milk... but if i had to choose a beer I'd say a nice lager with some hops like Jack's Abby - Jabby Brau