Three Pairing Tips from Chef Adam Dulye

By Andy Sparhawk

It’s always interesting to me how different points of view affect beer and food pairings. As craft beer drinkers, we can’t help but approach pairings with preconception and bias, and it’s easy to get hung up on what we think will work or taste best.

I found this interview with Chef Adam Dulye, the culinary consultant for the Brewers Association, to be very helpful, as he offers a few quick tips to help simplify the pairing process. Dulye recently had the monumental task of creating more than 150 pairings for SAVORSM: An American Beer & Food Experience.

SAVOR will take place at the Altman Building and adjoining Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, New York, June 14-15, 2013. Tickets are still available. Visit SavorCraftBeer.com for more information.

Three Tips for Pairing Craft Beer and Food

  • What does the beer make you want?

Instead of worrying about pairing do’s and don’ts, or what ingredients are incorporated into the dish, Chef Adam suggests to ask yourself what feelings or ideas come to you when tasting the beer.

  • Oftentimes, beers can do so much better than their stereotypical pairings.

Just because dry stouts are considered a classic pairing with oysters doesn’t mean they’re the best pairing. If I’ve learned one thing from attending SAVOR, it’s that fresh oysters pair fantastically with a far more varied selection of craft beers than just stouts.

  • Keep an open mind and try new things.

It can’t get simpler than that. When you go to a pairing event like SAVOR, cast aside any presumptions you might have about a particular beer or dish. Each pairing is an experience, and their combinations offer endless possibilities.


Andy SparhawkAndy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association’s Craft Beer Program Coordinator, is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Arvada, Colorado where he is a homebrewer and avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on CraftBeer.com.

Andy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association's craft beer program coordinator, is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Arvada, Colorado where he is a homebrewer and avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on CraftBeer.com.

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