Calling all Cicerones, Sommeliers, chefs, culinary instructors, restaurateurs, brewers and beer lovers—did I miss anyone?? When looking for information about pairing beer and food, you’ll find a boatload of websites, infographics and books to chew on, but, the question is, which will be the most helpful?
With small and independent U.S. craft brewers leading the charge, pairing is becoming common place at restaurants and brewpubs across the country. The data reinforces the movement too. In 2015 a Nielsen survey commissioned by the Brewers Association shared that 71 percent of craft beer purchasers gave “complements my meal” as a very or somewhat important selection criteria in their beer choice at a restaurant or bar. The study also found that 90 percent of people surveyed said they sometimes drink craft beer with food and 60 percent were likely to specifically pick a beer style in that occasion.
As with everything in the world of food and beverage, perception is personal, and beer is no exception. It takes experimentation to find what works for you. Now this also means that no one resource can provide the magic answers, but there are many reliable sources that can help you learn to create home run beer and food pairings.
There’s no way to create a comprehensive list—it seems like something new is published on the topic daily—but if you’re familiar with these beer and food pairing resources, I would personally deem you a superstar!
Created by CraftBeer.com Executive Chef Adam Dulye and Certified Cicerone® Andy Sparhawk, this chart looks simple, but it is full of easy to implement concepts and was designed with the home cook and professional chef in mind.
Thanks to John Peter Laloganes, Coordinator and Assistant Professor for the Beverage Management concentration at Kendall College in Chicago, IL, we’re able to share this amazing and simple look at pairing principles.
3. How to Pair Beer and International Food (bottom of the page)
For this great quick hit on multiple international pairings, Laloganes teamed up with Chef Dina Altieri, Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts Dean.
Boss Books and Manuals
Here are a few of my top picks (a couple new titles and some classics) that I constantly find myself recommending to people who want to learn more about pairing beer and food. Whether you’re a culinary student, professional chef or just your average home cook, beer is an amazing and powerful addition to the kitchen.
CraftBeer.com is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on CraftBeer.com do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.