Pairing Stroud Brewery Beers with food.

We are all used to enjoying wine with a meal and often select wines to accompany special dishes so that we not only chose white wine to go with fish but might like an Alberino to complement fresh salmon.
Many people already choose beer to enjoy with their meal, but often give much less thought to the style of beer chosen. There is an even more rewarding range of beers to complement food, some go better with certain food compared to wine. For example cherry fruit beer goes really well with dark chocolate which is difficult to match with wine.
There are no set rules and it is important to choose what you enjoy. Sometimes you find that certain beers & food may not be your first choice when paired together work really well. Don’t be afraid to experiment, you will be delighted by the results. Some simple guidance:
  • MATCH STRENGTH WITH STRENGTH. Delicate dishes work best with delicate beers, and strongly flavoured foods demand assertive beers. Intensity is not based on any single factor but depends on alcoholic strength, malt character, hop bitterness, sweetness, richness, roast. This must be balanced by rich fuller foods which depend on sweetness, cooking methods, spicing, texture.
  • HARMONIES - COMPLEMENT. Some of the best pairing are achieved where flavour common flavour characters are shared between the beer and food for example the deep, roasted flavours of imperial stout match the sweetness and richness of chocolate truffles.
  • CONTRAST - SWEETNESS, BITTERNESS, CARBONATION, HEAT (SPICE) AND RICHNESS. Beer and food interact with each other in predictable ways and allows interactions to balance and reduce the intensity of certain characters making them more enjoyable. For example malt sweetness reduces the hot and spicy effect of spicy foods while bitterness emphasises making the spicy more intense.
  • Cut – Beer has unique properties based on acidity, bitterness, alcohol, and carbonation which can cut through fat and dairy to clean our palates 
Beer characteristics
Malt & Sweetness
Bitterness & dryness
Hop bitterness & dryness
Spicy hop food
Carbonation & Alcohol
Fats & Dairy
However regardless of what the experts say, it really choosing from beers you like to match with food you enjoy will be very rewarding.