May is a big month for Craft Beer, and Memorial Day is just around the corner, so we’ve compiled a few of our favorite beer and food pairings for your spring and summer menu inspiration.
This crisp, refreshing brew is best served along summer’s bold, meaty dishes. Think barbecue chicken. Think meaty kabobs. Think slabs of ribs. Think about any dish where you want guests to go “Ahhhh” after they take a palate-cleansing swig of ice cold beer. Try the Narragansett Lager from Narragansett Brewing Co. or Two Women Lager from New Glarus Brewing Company for two great examples of lagers.
A pilsner is a pale lager and one of the most popular types of beer around. Whether you go traditional with the Pilsner Urquell or malty and lemony with the American-made Summit Keller Pils, pair your pilsner with something crispy and, ideally, fried, like a katsu sando or crispy schnitzel.
This sour little trickster is the perfect complement to dishes that combine sweet and heat, like a zippy ceviche or fried chicken with hot honey. The sour, sometimes fruity notes in the beer will amplify what’s going on in the dish and have guests going back for more. Try Transmitter W4 (which the brewers suggest pairing with raw oysters thanks to its slapping salinity) or Real Ale Brewing Co.’s El Guapo, which is brewed with lime and salt, making it an ideal companion for tacos.
You want a big beer, you’re going to need to bring big flavor to the table. You can either accomplish this with something spicy, like kimchi fried rice, or you can go beefy with a fully loaded burger — cheese, bacon, mayo — bring it on because your IPA can cut right through it with its hoppy, bitter notes. Check out Deschutes Brewery's Fresh Squeezed and Pipeworks Ninja Vs. Unicorn or any funky local IPA you can get your hands on.
When you’ve kicked up the heat to a four-alarm-fire level, with flaming wings or burning curry, turn to the roasted malty sweetness of amber ales, like the smooth finishing Rogue American Amber Ale or Perrin Brewing Company’s Anniversary Amber Ale.
Often beer-pairing menus build toward big flavors for a big finish, and you may find a hefty stout with your final course, but consider the food-friendly dopplebock, which is still full of flavor but plays nicely with rich, chocolatey desserts. Consecrator from Bell’s Brewery is an excellent example of a beer that knows how to finish a meal.