Chicken, fish, beef, vegetables or desert all require a chaser of liquid to help the food go down. It must be of good quality, have awesome flavor and one that matches the food would be best. Alcoholic in nature is not required but is strongly encouraged especially during the upcoming hot summer months. The winter months require beer chasers as well. Hell, every month you should follow your food down with an alcoholic beverage. There, it’s been said.
Here are some local beers for pairing to your food choices:
Blonde: These go best with lighter meals such as fish or chicken. They also pair well with light cheese plates of Monterrey Jack and crackers. Salads are a nice accompaniment to a Blonde beer and so are grilled vegetables. Hell a nice grilled salmon fillet served on top of a green salad would have to be chased with a Blonde beer, right?
- Saugatuck Oval Beach Blonde – Saugatuck brewery informs us that this is, “An easy drinking light ale with subtle malt flavors and aroma perfectly paired with a well-balanced body. Oval Beach Blonde is a great everyday pint and a perfect gateway into the world of craft beer for inexperienced beer drinkers.”
Hefeweizen: This wheat beer was created for lighter meals similar to those of the Blondes. It pairs well with lobster and sushi. A plate of goat cheese and crackers will go nicely with a good Hefeweizen as well. A garden salad, a lobster roll or Japanese Unagi (river eel) are your best bets with this German beer.
- Frankenmuth’s Hefeweizen –Frakenmuth duly notes that this beer was, “Recently awarded a Silver Medal by the World Beer Championships. Frankenmuth’s Hefeweizen has been not only recognized as one of Michigan’s best beers, but one of the best light beers in the entire world. Founded in 1994, the WBC does monthly blind taste tests of brews and rates them on a 100 point scale. The Hefeweizen scored an extremely impressive 88 points in a December tasting.
Amber: With a rich body and good froth, these types of beer pair well with burgers. Beef and ambers go hand in hand. A barbecued chicken would also be a good match as well. And if there is such a thing as a desert beer, try an amber with a caramel type desert and taste the joy. How could you go wrong with an amber ale and caramel topped slice of hot homemade apple pie?
- North Peak Siren – North Peak states, “This amber ale isn’t your beginners amber, it’s much more complex. The hops selected for Siren balance and complement the malt character. It is smoother, well-balanced and has a rich amber hue.”
IPA (India Pale Ale): With these beers being a little more hoppy in flavor a food to match would have to be as bold and tasty, right? Try this beer with spicy foods like chicken wings or Thai curry dishes. A well-seasoned pork chop would also benefit from this type beer. And with the craft beer craze hitting an all-time high these days, your choices are unlimited.
- Founders All Day IPA – Founders says, “The beer you’ve been waiting for. Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatics and a clean finish. The perfect reward for an honest day’s work and the ultimate companion to celebrate life’s simple pleasures.”
Dark beer(s): Porters and Stout required a meal that is substantial. A meal that roasted or smoked with flavor. Something off the fire that has char marks and burnt ends. We are talking steaks. Rib-eyes, Porterhouses or New York Strips. Seasoned to the high heaves and fire kissed for flavor. Try some French stinky chesses with these beers and you will be able to taste the matching qualities. Chase down a chocolatey dessert with a nice Stout and relax knowing you have made a great decision.
- Bells’ Expedition Stout: Bell’s informs us that this stout is, “One of the earliest examples of the Russian Imperial Stout in the United States. Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with vintage aging in mind, as its profile will continue to mature and develop over the years. A huge malt body is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas. Intensely bitter in its early months, the flavors will slowly meld and grow in depth as the beer ages.”
Blondes, Hefeweizens, IPA’s, Stouts and Porters are all wonderful food chasers. The magic really happens when you can pick a favorite beer to chase down your favorite food. Even for those who do not drink that often, you have to admit that a nice glass of Cabernet wine goes good with a hearty meal, right? So, why not substitute the fine wine with a fine beer? Either route you go, stay inspired and try something out of and down the street from your normal ‘in the box mentality’. You may just surprise yourself with a new flavor combo never before tried.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.