Food and beer go together wonderfully, and even if you are new to pairing your pints with your meals, don’t worry! In her blog series “Beer and Food”, beer writer Hollie Stephens will help you to start discovering the fantastic ways that beer can complement food.
Three Equity Beer and Food Pairings to Try
1. Solidarity Saison with a rustic fish stew
Saisons are fantastic beers to pair with food! They are dry and effervescent to help to balance oil and salt in food, with fruity, spicy notes thanks to the esters from the yeast, creating plenty of complementary flavors to play with.
Equity’s light bodied Solidarity Saison is a modern take on this classic farmhouse beer style, and how better to enjoy it than alongside some rustic French-inspired food? Most recipes for fish stew (or bouillabaisse) call for a host of herbs and spices such as thyme, fennel and saffron, which should play beautifully with the gentle pepper notes in the beer, and the delicate seafood won’t be overwhelmed. Don’t forget the bread to mop up the sauce!
2. Ninkasi NEIPA with a spicy Thai curry
The ripe tropical fruit notes of a New England IPA can pair perfectly with the lemongrass and chili in Thai food. Equity’s Ninkasi NEIPA has a restrained bitterness, which makes it an ideal pair for spice. But be careful of subbing in your favorite West Coast IPA; these types of beers might not be the best pair for spicier meals! Claire Bullen, co-author of ‘The Beer Lover’s Table’, a beer focused cookbook, explains why this is. “The logic goes that in the past, back when "IPA" usually meant "West Coast IPA"—bracing, bitter, astringent, piney, citrusy—it often didn't work to pair those beers with spicy foods: the high alcohol and resinous/abrasive hop character would often clash with the strong flavors in the dish, and/or emphasize, rather than temper, the chili heat” she says.
Claire points out that New England style IPAs – hazy, lower in bitterness, and higher in ripe fruit notes – offer a completely different experience. “Given their often tropical flavors, these beers can do well with dishes that feature mangos, coconut, pineapple, etc, while their almost creamy mouthfeel is less harsh alongside the chili.”
3. Sidamo Stout with Italian blue cheese
You might be more used to pairing cheeses with wine, but beer is an ideal accompaniment to many cheeses. The carbonation of the beer is especially suited to cutting through the fatty richness of cheese, refreshing your palate after each bite. As with all beer and food pairings, start with the rule of thumb of pairing lighter beers with more delicate cheeses, and riper, aged cheeses with stronger, bolder beers.
If you’re a fan of saltier, funkier cheeses, Equity’s Sidamo Stout is definitely one beer that you might want to save to enjoy with your cheese course! This medium to full bodied beer has rich, toasty notes that can stand up to the sharpness of blue cheese. A creamy Italian blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola, would make a great pair for this beer. The tanginess of the Gorgonzola will be well balanced by the sweetness from the dark malts in the stout.