Three Beers to Pair with Nashville Hot Chicken

Table Mates by | April 23, 2018 11:12 p.m.
Hattie B's hot chicken, pictured with baked beans and pimento mac and cheese. | Photos courtesy of Hattie B's.

A family business owned and operated by father-and-son team Nick Bishop, Sr., and Nick Bishop, Jr., Hattie B’s Hot Chicken was founded in 2012 and has since grown to include three locations in Nashville, one in Memphis, and one in Birmingham, Ala. Hattie B’s is best known for its hot chicken served with increasing levels of heat (Southern, Mild, Medium, Hot, Damn Hot, and Shut the Cluck Up!!!) as well as a selection of local beers designed to cut the heat. For the large dark plate—made up of two leg quarters at the Hot heat level accompanied by pimento mac and cheese, Southern greens, and black eyed pea salad—Nick Bishop, Jr., suggests three complementary Tennessee-brewed beers.

Rompo Red Rye Ale
5.6% ABV | Jackalope Brewing Co.
We first discovered this beer from our hometown brewery paired well with, of all things, our banana pudding. But that’s not where the pairing potential ends. It has a general sweetness from the rye malt to help cut even our highest heat levels (Damn Hot and Shut-the Cluck Up!!!). It’s not a hop bomb by any means, however, which makes it the perfect pairing for taming our hot chicken.

Chicken Scratch American Pilsner
5.25% ABV | Little Harpeth Brewing
From lager-focused Nashville brewery Little Harpeth, Chicken Scratch is, in our opinion, one of the most drinkable Pilsners you will ever find. This medium straw-colored beer has a hint of sweetness from the corn, which takes a little bit of the bite out of the hot chicken, while its light floral and herbal notes from the use of Cluster and Saaz hops refresh the palate with each sip.

Ananda India Pale Ale
6.1% ABV | Wiseacre Brewing Co.
No beer list is complete these days without a solid IPA. While hoppy beer may not be the first pairing that comes to mind with spicy foods, Wiseacre’s Ananda has a bite that helps you forget about the heat of the hot chicken. But its more juicy than bitter—a thirst-quenching burst of flavor hits the palate thanks to generous dry hopping with Cascade hops. 

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