Beer has always been one of the most popular drinks at parties, gatherings, celebrations, or even when you're mending a broken heart. It's one of those few beverages that are already enjoyable enough on its own.
However, it can definitely taste even better when you pair it with the right snacks. If you want to get the most of your favorite brand or type of beer, you should know which foods are best to enjoy.
One good thing about beer is that there's no hard rule to live by when pairing it with food or snacks. Perhaps that's one of the reasons it's one of the popular items included in gift hampers given during holidays and special occasions.
Beer and Snack Mixes
If you're not one to complicate food pairings, you can always go the easy way and choose something as classic yet straightforward as a plate of snack mixes. You're looking for a snack mix that offers the perfect balance of sweet, crunchy, and lightly spiced flavors. This type of snack will surely match any malty beer.
You don't need a special recipe to create a snack mix to pair with your beer. Just throw in some pretzel sticks, mini bagel chips, nuts, and sunflower seeds. Practically anything that's bite-sized and tasty could be included in the mix. To give it a tad of flavor, you can add honey or brown sugar, tabasco, cayenne pepper, or paprika. Some melted butter would be good, too.
For the Perfect Movie Night
Beer is usually a staple during movie nights. But have you tried going for a craft beer selection paired with popular movie snacks? If you've received creative beer hampers in the past, like those offered by Purely Gourmet, you know how much it can improve the overall movie night experience.
A movie night with your loved one or friends would be more special if you carefully select the right snacks to serve. Think caramel or butter microwave popcorn, marshmallows, dried fruits, nuts, and even baked pita bread. Your date will be delighted and impressed at the same time.
Contrast is Key
Pairing beer with snacks that contrast its taste will help you better appreciate the distinct flavors of the drink even more. So, to give your favorite beer a nice contrast, try pairing it with snacks that contradict its flavor.
For example, if your beer already has a commanding flavor profile, the snacks you should choose need to be something that has a milder flavor or palate, and vice versa. On the other hand, if your beer has a clean and cool profile like the pilsner, you may want to pair it with food that has a dominating flavor, such as a plate of buffalo wings.
The key is to know your beer as far as type, style, and flavor are concerned. Which kind of beer has a mild flavor, and which ones come off as strong or bold? What ingredients should you pair with each beer type? These are some of the questions you could research to familiarize yourself with the different beer types available.
Palate Cleansing, Anyone?
People who enjoy snacks or foods with bold flavors would often enjoy their beer as a palate cleanser. A palate cleanser is usually served or enjoyed between courses to remove flavor residue from the tongue so you can better appreciate the next dish.
Beers with a lighter flavor are perfect for cleansing the palate, especially when you're in gatherings or occasions that require you to assess and eat a diversity of flavors.
So, if you know you’re about to enjoy a selection of flavorful dishes, you can count on a bottle of lightly flavored beer to neutralize your tongue.
Find the Harmony
If you don't fancy the suggestion of mixing contrasting flavors, choose snacks that have a similar flavor profile to your favorite beer. The key is to find harmony in the flavors of the food and drink you want to pair. How to do that? Just look for snacks or foods with similar ingredients to the type of beer you’re planning to enjoy.
Suppose you're drinking Imperial Stout beer for the night. This dark and strong beer often contains flavor notes of coffee, cocoa, or bittersweet chocolate. This means you can easily enjoy it with foie gras or a slice of chocolate cake.
Beer lovers know how brewers are getting more creative in making craft beer flavors easier to pair with different flavors and aromas. It's not surprising given the fact that more and more people are learning to appreciate this versatile drink.
Beer is usually the best drink to enjoy with different foods and snacks with its accommodating yet distinct flavor. Regardless of the kind of drinker you are, there's always a way to pair this drink with various platters and dishes.
Next time you're planning a movie night or some chill time with friends, you can try to pair your favorite beer with the snack ideas mentioned above.