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I really don't get the pairing

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by otispdriftwood, Jul 23, 2013.

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  1. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (631) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Call it sacrilege, call me crazy but I don't get pairing beer with food. After all, if you want to be able to taste the subtleties of a beer, or are trying something new, how can eating food with it help that? For that matter, if you want to enjoy a particular beer or a particular food, how does combining them make it better or more enjoyable? The only way I see this as working for me is if I already know what the beer and the food tastes like, otherwise, it's beer first, then food. Then some more beer. Besides, beer first seems to heighten my appetite, like something else I used to do.
  2. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,222) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber

    In many ways I agree with you, but there are some standards that do go hand in hand, and some nice surprises with certain food items and styles.

    I've always been a big food person first, and always looked at beer, even at it's lightest form, very large, filling, and to shagrin the usage of the saying "a meal in itself".

    I honestly do like beer on it's own, more often the beer is the star... the food/dish comes second.. but often there is much joy when certain items get paired nicely...

    There's no reason you can't have the both of best worlds :wink: Sometimes it even makes the beer better.
  3. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Zealot (515) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I think pairing (especially with wine) is vastly overstated, but there are occasionally some very satisfying experiences to be had with it.

    Try a Palo Santo Marron with a flourless chocolate cake. It really does make each of them better.
  4. matt_6

    matt_6 Initiate (174) Jul 23, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    If I've never had a beer before there is no way I want food anywhere around while I am drinking it. But outside of that, if it is something like Two Hearted I've had a ton of give it to me with a delicious pizza or burger and I'm in heaven.
  6. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (524) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Try an imperial stout and chocolate ice cream float.
  7. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (631) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    If you chill the stout or warm the ice cream, they're really the same thing. But I'll try it with coffee ice cream.
    skivtjerry likes this.
  8. crosamich

    crosamich Initiate (0) Nov 28, 2007 Florida
    Beer Trader

    matt_6 likes this.
  9. StarRanger

    StarRanger Initiate (152) Nov 27, 2006 North Dakota

    Correct pairings have synergy where the combination becomes something more than each component alone. This can be the result of flavors that go well together like a good dark chocolate and a New Glarus fruit beer or it can be the flavors together giving the impression of something new like a brown ale and a mild cheddar tasting like a grilled cheese sandwich. The beer flavors can highlight different background flavors in the food and make them stand out more. The beer can also refresh the palate so you are ready to experience the food again like a barley wine and a blue cheese - the cheese and be strong and the fat coats the tongue but the barley wine will refresh the palate and the carbonation will scrub the fat off the tongue.
    ehammond1 likes this.
  10. crosamich

    crosamich Initiate (0) Nov 28, 2007 Florida
    Beer Trader

    well put. beer is a much better pairing with cheese than wine if discussing the physical aspect.
  11. LaneMeyer

    LaneMeyer Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2011 California

    Take your common sense and get out of here. You're not welcome on BA anymore :grinning:
    queens1130 likes this.
  12. queens1130

    queens1130 Initiate (109) Nov 21, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Blame Disney for teaching people of these crazy ideas :slight_smile:

    Must try someday, cheers!
  13. ncaudle

    ncaudle Defender (602) May 28, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I personally love very hoppy brews with spicy food (Mexican, Asian, etc) but according to Cicerones I'm emphatically wrong...
  14. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,222) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber

    Personal tastes and preferences are never wrong...
    queens1130, bifrost17 and ncaudle like this.
  15. ohiobeer29

    ohiobeer29 Defender (678) Feb 2, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    i consider beer to be a meal within it's self definitely don't mix the two but i can see where it can add to a meal
  16. PaulQuinn

    PaulQuinn Initiate (174) May 27, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    You're only wrong if you ever listen to what these Cicerones have to say about beer.
    jesskidden likes this.
  17. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,386) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    It's just the added excitement when you realize that "this" dish will go really well with "that" beer.

    That is all.
  18. StarRanger

    StarRanger Initiate (152) Nov 27, 2006 North Dakota

    Hoppy beers can accentuate the burn from spicy foods. Some people like that others do not. The safe pairing is a sweeter beer that will tame the burn but others love the burn so hoppy works for them.

    BA is full of people who love flavor and spice so it is easy to see where the hoppy + spicy is popular here, but there are lots of mundanes out there who will be overpowered by hoppy + spicy.
  19. GreenMtnMike

    GreenMtnMike Initiate (160) May 30, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I find that alcohol aggravates heat more than hops do, but that's just me. A simple experiment for thinking about beer with food is to put a little salt in your mouth before taking a sip of beer. If you like how the flavors change you will probably be able to find a food that you enjoy with the beer.
  20. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yeah so at a basic level beer or wine should serve to cleanse the palate between bites (not all wines and beers do this I know but that's one approach. So imagine frites and mayo w/ gueuze; all the oils and fats scrubbed clean via the sharp acidity. Multiple beers can achieve this. Also a balance of fat and acidity on the palate can be pleasing; creating a vinegrette in one's mouth. I like saison and crispy fried livers for this or hoppy beers w/ fish & chips. Also there's combining complex w/ simple and simple w/ complex. So a simple pork roast could be served w/ a rich complex doppelbock; the sweetness of the beer also adding richness which might be missing in the roast. On the other hand spicy Indian curries w/ an English brown ale where in this instance the sweetness of the beer can also calm the heat of the curries while highlighting the dish overall. A sweet counterpoint.
    There are many others but if YOU like drinking your beer by itself have at it.
  21. Saraanne09

    Saraanne09 Initiate (0) Jul 29, 2013 New York

    I find that if I pair beer with something very salty heightens the flavor of the beer. Eating something sweet with the beer has a similar effect, however, I find that because most beer has a somewhat sweet taste to it, it tends to bring out more of the bitterness in the flavor.
  22. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (237) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I love to drink beer with food, and cook with beer. Enjoy finding pairings such as: Sympatico: they share something/have flavors in common. Contrast: they go together because they are so different - "opposites attract." Dynamic: one may elevate the other; or a brand new flavor is created from the combination of the two. Geographic/Demographic: they go together from a cultural, traditional, or historical aspect. Often a great pairing is no accident - they've been doing it for generations from what was local and available.
  23. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (580) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry Beer Trader

    :astonished: Pretty sure it's almost always one of the recommended pairings, since the spicy and hoppy tend to play off and elevate one another (I'm studying for Certified Cicerone). An IPA is pretty damn good with carrot cake too.
  24. WhatdaHec

    WhatdaHec Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2003 California

    There are few things in life better than great beer paired with great pizza.

    Pizza Port in the San Diego area is my heaven. I'm sorry you don't 'get' the concept. It's one of life's great pleasures.
    ehammond1 and Henamonster like this.
  25. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,188) Mar 18, 2010 California

    The Carlsbad pizza sounds fantastic right now.
    WhatdaHec and ehammond1 like this.
  26. ehammond1

    ehammond1 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2008


    come on...you know you wanna :wink:....
    drperry11 and afrokaze like this.
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