Pairing Food and Beer

People have matched wine with food for many years, across the globe it’s pretty much the done thing as soon as you step into any fine-dining establishment worth its salt. But what if wine isn’t really your thing? Matching beer with food isn’t exactly new, but it’s definitely something people are looking into more and more these days and we think establishments should start matching beers with their dishes like they would wine!

Maybe you’re thinking about buying the right beer for when you eat and drink at home. We’ve got three tips here to help you get it right!


Your food and beer need to work together in order to make the most amazing harmonisation on your palette. A good idea is to look for a common flavour between food and drink. An example of this is matching St Austell Brewery’s Clouded Yellow with spicy foods, or food containing spices. The beer contains hints of coriander and cloves, balanced out with the sweetness of vanilla and banana, striking the perfect match with, say, an Indian, Moroccan or Turkish style dish.

Food and drink needs to go glove to glove

When it comes to beer and food, you need to match strength with strength. A strong drink will out-muscle a delicate meal (a stout with a Caesar salad wouldn’t fly!) and vice versa. It’s not quite as simple as just “strength” though, it comes in many ways; alcoholic strength, hoppyness, matiness, richness, roastiness, sweetness and so on. The same can be said for food so not only do you need to match strength with strength you need to match particular strengths. It’s all about one flavour not out-intensifying the other!


Qualities of food and beer can interact with each other in certain, predictable ways and it’s all about using your noggin. You need to seek out flavours and features that will complement one another. This isn’t quite like the harmonising we mentioned previously as this is a little more scientific than simply matching flavours. If that’s beginner level, this is intermediate!

Foods with fatty richness and sweetness are well suited to flavours with a hoppy bitterness and a roasted malt while a carbonated beer is good for cutting through richness. If you’re eating something with a bit of a kick then malty sweetness will play off that perfectly. If you prefer a hoppy beer just make sure it has a good level of malt to it too when eating spicy foods.

If you take all three of these steps and have plenty of time to peruse the beer available in the alcohol aisle, not being afraid of going for something more continental perhaps, you’ll be able to have a beer and food match made in heaven! If you’ve only got time to do one of the things above, you’ll still be on to a winner!

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Clear Brew products to help along the way

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