How To Pair Beer With Food

Image courtesy of http://www.scientificamerican.com/

For a beverage consisting of so few ingredients, beer makes a huge statement.  Its rich diversity of flavors, aromas and textures make it the ideal partner for almost any meal.  As a homebrewing citizen, one of the greatest challenges you might face is finding the right grub to compliment your brew.  With so many possibilities, it can be a challenge to know where to begin.

The best place to start is with the profile of your beer since this will govern its interactivity with food.  This is determined by three main ingredients: malt, hops, and yeast.  Malt is sweet and often adds hints of chocolate or coffee to malt-heavy beers such as stouts and porters.  Hops are considerably more dynamic and will add bitter, spicy, floral and/or fruity flavors to beers, most pronouncedly in India Pale Ales.  Then there are the more yeasty beers, such as American wheat beers and German hefeweizens, which are generally lighter with heavy yeasty flavors.  Together, these ingredients bring out the sweet, bitter, spicy and rich features in the product of your beer brewing experience.

The next step is determining how you want your food to relate to your beer.  Oftentimes, the best partnerships arise from shared flavors and aromas.  The key is finding the correct balance in the harmonies you wish to create through complementary or contrasting flavors.  As a general rule of thumb you should keep the strength of your food and beer consistent, but there are otherwise no wrong answers. With homebrewing kits, the flavor creation possibilities are endless.  In the end, the way in which you consume your brew is the final step in getting the most out of your beer brewing kits.