The Anatomy of Beer

Get more from your beer

The virtually limitless flavours in beer make it an amazingly versatile drink when matching with food. Whether it’s a seafood starter, gamy main course or chocolate dessert there will be a beer perfectly suited to your dish. Not convinced? Then it’s time to hang up you preconceptions and let beer transform your meal into a truly memorable culinary experience. Here are a few principles to get you started:

  • Balance – the most important element of matching beer with food is balance. We are looking for the beer and food to come together harmoniously rather than collide abruptly in your mouth. Balance the flavours in the beer and food so neither overpower each other
  • Impact – Match delicate flavours in food with those in beer. Look at the strength of flavours and match the weight of the dish to the beer
  • Complement – Seek out similar flavours and allow them to complement each other. Sweet, caramelised flavours in grilled or roasted foods for example can match superbly with the rich, malt sweetness in beer
  • Contrast – Sometimes opposites attract and combining opposing flavours can work just as well. Sweetness in beer can be used to contrast the acidity of the dish and vice versa whereas bitterness can help counter sweetness