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Our UK columnist Lotte Peplow shared her article on Beer food paring for the ‘lazy’: No-Cook Guide to Beer. By-lined to Adam Dulye, Executive Chef for the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers. Dulye is one of the world’s leading experts on beer and food pairing and in this article he explains how to create mouth-watering pairings without any cooking!
With eating-out options limited in the current climate we’re looking to expand our culinary experiences in other ways. If cooking at home every night is losing appeal this handy guide to pairing American craft beer with no-cook food will have your tastebuds tingling and your senses salivating. Cheese, charcuterie and chocolate make perfect partners for the multitude of flavours found in American craft beer. Here’s why…
Here are a few guidelines for getting started:
Suggested American craft beer and Cheese Pairings:
|CHEESE STYLE||BEER STYLE||DESCRIPTION
|Soft Cheese||Wheat beer, Lambic-style beer||Mascarpone, ricotta, mozzarella, goats cheese will match the delicate notes of the beer without overwhelming the palate|
|Semi-soft Cheese||Kolsch, Pilsner, Pale Ale||Cambozola, Reblochon, Fontina, Provolone can be enhanced by a high level of carbonation. Salty cheese like Feta needs a thirst-quenching, refreshing style to combat its dryness|
|Hard Cheese||Brown Ale, Imperial Stout, Bock||Cheddar, Gruyere, Emmental, Parmesan, Manchego echo the nutty, earthy notes of a brown ale or stout. These beers add creaminess on the palate to a hard cheese|
|Blue Cheese||IPA or Imperial IPA, Barley wine||Strongly flavoured cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton, St Agur, Danish Blue can be successfully balanced with bolder beer styles|
|Natural Rind Cheeses||Golden/Blonde ale,
|Brie, camembert, gorgonzola have a rich creamy base that can be refreshed with a golden, blonde or pale ale.|
|Washed Rind Cheeses||Belgian-style ales||Vacherin, Taleggio, Port Salut Beers bring out the cheeses’ delicate sweet note and can cut through the funk of the washed rind|
And if you’re a fan of cold-cuts, smoked meats and charcuterie this guide is for you:
|TYPE OF CUT||DESCRIPTION||BEER PAIRING|
|Prosciutto di Parma
|A classification of ham from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Known for its umami flavour||Pilsner, Doppelbock or Saison|
|Bresaola (beef)||Dark red cut of beef, thinly sliced. One of the leanest cured meats||Brown Ale|
|Speck (pork)||Smoked, cured meat, milder and firmer in texture than prosciutto||Smoked Beer, American Pale Ale|
|Saucisson Sec (pork)||A French-style salami. Typically dry-cured and rich in flavour||Robust Porter|
|Chorizo (pork)||A distinctive bright red colour due to addition of smoked paprika.||Smoked Beer, Pilsner|
|Mortadella (pork)||Cooked sausage made from ground pork meat, garnished with pistachios and small cubes of fat for extra flavour||Belgian-style Trappist ale|
|Salami Piccante (pork)||Can be spicy to mild. Spiced with paprika and hot to mild red peppers known as peperoni||Imperial IPA|
|Pâté||Usually made from ground pork, duck or chicken liver and spices||Stout|
|Salo||Pork fat speciality||Pilsner, Golden Ale, Kölsch|
Finally, if all you want to do is kick-back with a bar of chocolate and a beer remember to match intensity of flavour. Here’s a basic guide:
White Chocolate – creamy texture, no cocoa solids, usually contains 20% cocoa butter, sugar and 14% milk solids. Pair with Witbier, Brown Ale, Sweet Stout, fruited Wheatbeer
Milk Chocolate – usually around 35-45 cacao solids. Pair with: American pale ale, Brown ale, Amber ale
Dark chocolate – at least 35% cacao solids but commonly above 70%. Pair with: Robust Porter, Imperial Stout, Dubbel, Lambic style beers.
Look out for beers with speciality ingredients such as coffee, chocolate, peanut butter and many more that offer endless possibilities for pairing with chocolate.
Many American craft beers such as Firestone Walker Brewing Co, Lakefront Brewery Inc, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Rogue Ales, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Spencer Brewery and Stone Brewing Co. are available in Silpo or Good Wine stores.
Lotte Peplow is an ambassador of the Brewers Association (BA) in Europe. Lotte is also a certified beer sommelier and beer-writer, beer judge at many professional contests, as well as she brews beer. In addition, Lotte conducts meetings and beer tastings, organizes large-scale beer events and is an active supporter of beer food pairing.
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,500-plus U.S. breweries. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR™: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew ConTM, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications®.
Photo provided by Lotte Peplow