Italian Food Beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by WesMantooth, Jul 9, 2014.

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  1. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (3,162) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Looking for a good style or specific beer that pairs well with Italian food. Everything that I have had (porters, stouts, American lagers and ales, DIPAs) clashes pretty hard. I have not tried any barleywines though. Thoughts?
    Greywulfken and creepinjeeper like this.
  2. Heretic42

    Heretic42 Initiate (0) Aug 31, 2011 Texas

    Try a Belgian dark/dubbel/quad, saison, or flemish red.
  3. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (619) May 11, 2012 Missouri

    Peroni bro...just kidding

    The thing is, "Italian Food" is a kind of a broad term as Italian cuisine could range from anything to a braised beef shank with polenta to a simple salad or pasta. Or are we talking red sauce heavy American Italian? Regardless of the cuisine, I usually find it easier to match a drink to the dish
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  4. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (8,349) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    One cook I know swears by schwarzbier with pasta. Haven't personally tried the combination myself, but I do steer away from beer when it comes to pasta often... I need the vino...
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  5. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    farmhouse ale or a saison?
    WasupBeerQueen likes this.
  6. tgatort

    tgatort Aspirant (222) Mar 13, 2013 Florida

    Italian restaurants seem to have the worst beer selections
  7. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (8,557) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Pasta with red sauce is my biggest difficulty in finding a suitable beer.

    However, pasta with a white wine or pesto sauce - then something pale and crisp - like a pilsener, pale ale, or IPA.
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  8. Darwin553

    Darwin553 Initiate (0) Jan 5, 2009 Australia

    I wouldn't have thought that barleywines pair too well with Italian food - too heavy.
  9. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Devotee (412) Jan 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Saison is always a safe bet.
    ConradKenney likes this.
  10. Ale_Dog

    Ale_Dog Initiate (0) May 13, 2014 New York

    This challenged me for a while. Always safe with a pils, especially if there is no red sauce. And with red sauce a mild brown ale goes well; it won't fight with the flavor of the sauce.
    e34john likes this.
  11. Clarkson

    Clarkson Initiate (174) Feb 26, 2013 Texas

    This is one pairing that has escaped me until last night- Orval is the answer.
    CowsandBeer likes this.
  12. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    I was in Italy a couple weeks ago and when I wasn't drinking wine (cuz you know, 'when in Rome...') I drank some Birra Moretti with my meals. It was kinda nice with the Italian food I paired it with. Its a nondescript pale lager, it certainly didn't add to the dishes I ate, but it also didn't detract from them. That's a bit more than I can say for other pairings with Italian that I've tried.
  13. Elfastball7

    Elfastball7 Disciple (305) Oct 7, 2007 New Jersey

    Let's say red sauce based foods-Flemish Reds or Oud Bruins. I'd also say Saisons or Tripels. Otherwise I'd suggest a Italain red wine(from Sangiovese based reds to Nero D'Avola),
  14. Harnkus

    Harnkus Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 New York

    Ommegand Abbey Ale recommends itself to Italian fare. Seems odd, but I'm gonna give it a go with Sunday's sauce
  15. Drift

    Drift Disciple (395) Mar 26, 2014 California

    Zombie dust, goes well with anything!
  16. JerryT

    JerryT Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2014 Pennsylvania

    for me that's an easy one ...I was raised on Italian. You have to go with light and Peroni
  17. AugustusRex

    AugustusRex Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Canada (ON)

    Rodenbach grand cru for heavier meals, good pilsner for lighter. Don't pair barleywines with a meal.
  18. JasonEdelson

    JasonEdelson Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2013 Illinois

    I'm late to the party, hope this will help! It sounds like your sauce is driving home the acidity, salt, sweetness, and umami. You got just about every flavor profile. You are either looking to offset or reduce these flavors. If you want to offset, try a sweeter beer or higher gravity beer. If you want to reduce or even complement, say the acid, try an IPA or another beer that is heavy on alpha acids. The sweet or hopped up beer should be served very cold. If you want to go balls wild, try a beer with some heat in it, e.g. habanero. Grazie!
  19. JasonEdelson

    JasonEdelson Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2013 Illinois

    P.S. highly carbonated will clear the palate.
  20. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Devotee (412) Jan 23, 2007 Pennsylvania

    @Jason edelson - Totally disagree w/ the IPA selection for acidity to match the food. The hop bitterness will clash and throw everything off.
    For acidity I'd choose a lighter saison or Petrus.
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  21. JasonEdelson

    JasonEdelson Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2013 Illinois

    Acidity calms salty. Depending on the style of red sauce.
  22. bluesquids

    bluesquids Initiate (0) May 28, 2014 California

  23. JasonEdelson

    JasonEdelson Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2013 Illinois

    This is a great discussion. The different opinions and ideas "embiggen" the spirit of Beer Advocate. Cheers to the contributors of this post! :slight_smile:
  24. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,443) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    As a non-Italian guy who really loves food, and who has genuine Italian in-laws (accent included with my father-in-law :grinning:), I've had plenty of Italian food, and would rate Duvel as my favorite accompaniment - and it went well with everything - meat, pasta, and greens...
    ...and generally speaking, I've had success with mildly hopped pales - Belgian or American - golden-to-light amber-colored, moderate abv (6-8%) and some holiday ales, but never anything too dense or strong...

    When I eat Italian, I tend to eat in quantity ("Mangia, mangia..." :stuck_out_tongue:), so I'd not likely go barleywine, though some DIPAs are lean enough that I'd try...
    #25 Greywulfken, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  25. JerryT

    JerryT Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Hello My fellow Pennsylvanian
  26. ordinarymatt

    ordinarymatt Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2014 Connecticut

    The dude is from Ohio, think, what would pair well with spaghetti and ketchup?:wink:
  27. mooseisloose

    mooseisloose Meyvn (1,345) Nov 16, 2005 Florida

    Personally not a brain surgeon but I would start with light crisp Italian beers like Birra Morretti or Peroni. As beer is itself a big carb and most ( southern) Italian food is big carbs you need to stick to cold and light and fresh brews. In northern Italy the sky is the limit and a 12% ass kicking dark brew goes fine with the meat and potato palate dig? Salute!
  28. cmwilliq

    cmwilliq Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2014 Wisconsin

    session IPA... or pinot grigio...
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