Flavorful Pairing Ideas From Our 2013 Winter Beer Dinner
This time of year, when the chilly weather drives us inside and comfort food takes center stage, a great way to spice up a meal is with cleverly crafted beer and food pairings. Of course, pairing fare year-round is always a great idea, and the rich flavors of the winter season make for especially delicious combinations. Using key ideas like coordinating intensities, complementing flavor profiles and cutting fat with hoppy brews is an easy way to get started with your own food and beer creations.
For flavor-union inspirations, we asked our brewmaster, Larry Chase, to give us some background on the beer and food pairings from our Winter Beer Dinner earlier this month. Here’s what Larry has to say about the brews and dishes we chose, and why each of these courses worked especially well:
2nd Course: The bright crispness of the I ♥ Oregon Pale Ale helped to cleanse the palate after each bite of the rich and creamy Crab and Shrimp Bisque.
3rd Course: A classic pairing–the Oatmeal Stout’s dry roasted flavor was a counterbalance to the salinity and brininess of both Raw and Wood-Fired Oysters. Also, trying the Oatmeal Stout and the Noble Stout (next course) back-to-back was a great way to compare like-flavored beers.
4th Course: Bold food like the Roast Beef with Wild Mushrooms needs a bold beer. The upfront coffee flavors, along with the chocolate and roasted flavors, of Noble Stout stood up to the intensity of the dish.
6th Course: A well-hopped beer can cut through the sweetness and fat of Crème Brule to refresh your palate for each bite. Plus, the strong citrus flavors of the Double IPA played well with the vanilla flavors in the dessert.
Thanks Larry! If you joined us for this year’s Winter Beer Dinner, please let us know which pairing was your favorite of the evening and why you loved it. You can use these examples to build your own pairings at home, too. If you have a favorite seasonal craft beer you like to keep in stock, consider its body, flavor and intensity and make a meal around your beer. After all, what better way to brainstorm dinner than with a pint?