Pairing food and alcohol has been a tradition for hundreds of years. Yet, at EnjoyFresh we’re noticing more and more interesting food pairing events–with different alcoholic beverages– popping up all across the country. Most of us have had the opportunity to attend or learn about wine and food pairings. While pairing specific food with the right wine does take some practice and a tuned-in palate it’s fairly common.
Did you know that pairing whiskey or bourbon with food is also very popular these days? Seems the millennial crowd has discovered the joys of drinking whiskey and bourbon and, in fact, are responsible for driving very strong bourbon and whiskey sales over the last several years. We recently featured a Jack Daniels cocktails and 4 course dinner pairing event in Orlando at the Artisan’s Table, featuring a Jack Daniels expert on hand to help those lucky foodies learn whiskey pairing.
Not to be overlooked, though, the craft brew industry has experienced exponential growth over the last decade. Like a chef developing a new recipe, many craft breweries continually experiment and test new flavor combinations with their beer recipes to see what works with their customers. They can be weird or unexpected, yet many are surprisingly flavorful–and great matches with certain cuisines (and that doesn’t mean just burgers, wings, pizza and chips, although there’s nothing wrong with that anytime!)
Pairing beer with food is pretty much the same as with wine, whiskey or bourbon. It’s a personal thing where your palate needs to be your guide. Below we’ve included a handy beer and food pairing infographic to make it easy for you. For instance, small hints of chocolate in your stout could go very well with that NY strip steak. Or a beautiful, local, organic salad with a little grilled salmon could go well with a crisp lager. Sophisticated beer flavors such as a watermelon pilsner, an Asian-inspired beer with cilantro and lemongrass, or a wheat beer with hibiscus, cinnamon and orange peel could pair with a variety of ethnic different foods.
Recently we had the pleasure and fun of visiting a new local craft brewery in SF, aptly named, The Local Brewing Co. Regan Long, the CEO and co-founder, demonstrated their new app called the Curator –a cool mobile app that quickly allows you to zero in on the right beer for you depending on your palate profile and your mood at the time. Check it out when you’re there. Well done!
The EnjoyFresh Fresh Team
Image Credits: The Kendall College, iStock
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