Nothing goes better with a delicious dinner like a good beer.
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Credit: John Lee

Beer is the perfect partner for fall foods. It's complex and comes in a huge array of flavor profiles: from crisp clean pilsners and lagers, fruity witbiers, hoppy IPAs, to malty stouts and roasted porters. And who doesn't love a good beer? But it's all about picking the right beer for your meal-whether it's cocktail hour at your wedding or next Friday night. In their new book, Beer Bites, Christian DeBenedetti and Andrea Slonecker prove there is a beer for every flavor.

So, once you've decided on your wedding menu, use these tips to find the best beer to complement it. You can also work with your caterer to find specific beers-and don't forget to taste test!

Sweet Flavors

According to DeBenedetti and Slonecker, sweeter beers pair best with desserts, along with rich, bready, or caramelized savory bites. Serve sweet beers with things like fried foods, roasted veggies, and blue cheese. Try Belgian Strong Dark Ales like Chimay Granda Réserve, Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw, or Hefeweizens like Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier.

Get Comfort Food Ideas

Lighter Flavors

Wild yeasts and bacteria used in the brewing process lend a distinct acidity and sour note to some beers, especially Belgians and American sours. Lighter sour beers are enjoyable on their own or with light foods, while fuller more sour brews taste best with meats like steak. Try saisons like Myrtle from The Commons Brewery or Artic Saison from Grassroots with cheeses, or dark farmhouse ales like Dogpatch Sour or Caerasus Logson Farmhouse Ales.

Salty Flavors

Beer paired with salty foods is always a win-think fries and a beer at a dinner or a pretzel and beer at a baseball game. Try ryes and IPAs with especially salty foods like SurlyFest, Oktoberfest - Brauhaus Riegele, Founders Red's Rye IPA, or Rye-on-Rye.

Unami Flavors

Deeply savory tastes like soy sauce, prosciutto, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese are ultra satisfying at a wedding. And the complexity of flavors in foods with unami make it easy to pair with different types of beer. DeBenedetti and Slonecker suggest stouts like Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout, Black Sun Stout, or red ales like Rodenback Caratè Rouge, or Imperial Flanders Red Ale.


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