Secrets of exceptional Food & Beer PairingBy“Dr.” Bill SysakCertified CiceroneCraft Beer AmbassadorStone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Basic tastes: non volatile, perceived on tongue: Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory Aroma: Volatiles that are smelled ~10,000 different aromas Mouthfeel/tactile sensations: Cold/Heat, Pain, drying, fullness/viscosity,astringency
Olfactory Glandsends smellinformation to thebrain. Sense of smell isused 2 ways: Orthonasal RetronasalOlfactory Nerves
Appearance: note color, foam, and clarity Aroma: Swirl the glass. Aroma “drive by”. 2-3 short, “rabbit” sniffs. Then 1 long sniff-- Inhale both through your nose & mouth Sniff before tasting Taste: 1st sip: Vigorously swish the beer around your mouth to cleanseyour palate. 2nd sip: put the beer at the front of your mouth, part your lipsand pull air in. This will open your palate 3rd taste: Now you will be able to enjoy the full flavors andcomplexities of your beer,
Beer has carbonation to refresh the palate! Beer has bitterness to slice through fat! Beer has caramelized flavors to match those inyour food! Maillard reaction! Beer has sweetness to quench the heat fromspices and chilies!
Delicate dishes work best withdelicate beersStrongly-flavored foods demandassertive beers
Combinations often work best when they sharesome common flavor or aroma elements. The nutty flavors of an English-style brown aleand a handmade cheddar cheese. The deep, roasted flavors of imperial stout andchocolate truffles. The clean caramel flavors of an Oktoberfestlager and roasted pork are all examples of this.
In beer-It may involve alcoholic strength, maltcharacter, hop bitterness, sweetness, richness,roastiness and more.In food-Richness, sweetness, cookingmethod, spicing, texture and complexity all playa role.
PilsenersPilseners are noted fortheir rich gold color, fatmaltiness and moderate tofull body, with a cleancrisp finish.Commercial Examples:Pilsner UrquellAugustiner PilsVictory Prima PilsSudwerk PilsnerBarrel Room at Pilsner Urquell
WitbierA very popular style of beerbrewed with wheat andknown for their refreshingcharacter. Usually spicedwith coriander and orangepeel.Commercial Examples:Avery White RascalThe Lost Abbey Witch’s WitRussian River Little White LieHoegaardenPierre Celis
Hefe-weizenWeizens are characterized bytheir cloudy appearance andbanana, clove & sometimesbubble gum aromas and flavorswith a slightly tart aftertaste.Commercial Examples:Weihenstephaner hefe WeissbierAyinger Brau-WeisseFranzikaner hefe-WeissbierScheider Weisse OriginalErdinger WeissbierWeihenstephan Brewery
Pale AlesPale Ales are light in color,ranging from golden to a lightcopper color. The style of this beeris defined by the hops & maltbalance. American Pale Ales arehoppier and not as malty as theirEnglish counterparts.Commercial Examples:Sierra Nevada Pale AleThree Floyds Alpha KingBass Pale AleBatemans Victory AleGreene King Abbot Ale
SaisonBrewed for consumption duringthe warm harvest season, these“farmhouse” ales are typicallysemi-dry & grassy, withpronounced spiciness andsometimes earthiness.Commercial Examples:Ommegang HennepinSaison DuPontThe Lost Abbey Red BarnPort/Ballast Point BrotherLevonian
India Pale AlesThe modern version that haslargely been formed in the US, hasan intense hop aroma & flavor.IPA’s have a golden to coppercolor with a medium maltiness.The finish has a moderate tostrong bitterness.Commercial Examples:Russian River Blind Pig IPAStone IPABells Two Hearted AleTroegs Nugget Nectar AleAvery Maharaja
DubbelsA strong, dark &malty beer originallysold to laypeople tosupport monastery.Caramel flavors andbright carbonationoften present.Westmalle Abbey, BelgiumCommercial Examples:Westmalle DubbelOmmegang Abbey AleChimay RougeLost Abbey Lost and Found
TripelStronger, golden alewith complexaromas of fruit andspice. Slightly drybitterness and oftenbrewed with candisugar for light bodyand clean finish.Sometimes spiced.Brewery at Westmalle AbbeyCommercial Examples:Westmalle TripelSt. Bernardus TripelThe Bruery Tradewinds TripelUnibroue La Fin Du Monde
Stouts & PortersThere are many styles of stoutsand Porters, but for our purposes,stouts & porters have manysimilarities. They are dark brownto black from the roasted barleysand malts, with notes of coffee &chocolate in both the aroma andflavor.Commercial Examples:Guinness Stout (Dry Stout)Samuel Smiths Oatmeal StoutAlesmith Speedway Stout (Imperial)Stone Smoked PorterFullers London Porter
A very unique style from the Flemishspeaking region of Belgium. Tart plum,cherry, and red currant flavorspredominate, along with an oftenbalsamic woodiness. Blended andtypically aged in oak barrels for severalyears. Pairs great with chocolate!Commercial Examples:Rodenbach Grand CruDuchesse de BourgogneMonk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale
Familiarity with ingredients and preparationtechniques, a memory for flavors and awillingness to be constantly surprised will allserve you well.Of course, it helps to keep notes on your beer andfood odyssey.