The complexity and diversity of beer makes it a great match for food in almost every occasion. Whether you are heading out to a local craft brewery or are entertaining a group of friends at your house for the big game, it is important to understand some of the best duos. While a Coors and a plate of nachos may do it for some, there are endless opportunities when it comes to finding your preferred beer and food pairings!

There is a simple guideline to follow when it comes to pairing any food with beer, and that is to match strength with strength. In general, lighter beers pair better with lighter foods, and darker beers pair better with more flavor-rich foods, such as chocolate and stouts. 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference, and trying combinations yourself is the only way to determine what you like best! The following pairings are recommendations of good places to start. If you are looking to try some of these combinations for yourself, or are seeking some further input, stop by Lucky Girl Brewing in Paw Paw, Michigan, and we can serve you up right! Our beer menu is sure to have something for every beer lover. 

Snacks and Appetizers

Cheese

Cheese is the opposite of beer in the sense that as it ages, its flavors tend to become more intense. Thankfully, when it comes to pairing beers and cheeses, it is really hard to go wrong. An important thing to keep in mind is to look for commonalities between the flavors of beer and cheese that you are choosing. When it comes to sharper cheeses like cheddar, IPAs that fall on the hoppier end of the spectrum are a great match. IPAs also pair greatly with blue cheese and spicier cheeses. 

Fries and Fried Foods

We all love to indulge in a simple order of french fries. Whether they are, curly, cheesy, thick or thin, the saltiness of the fries will leave you needing some kind of beverage to wash that taste down. A golden lager, or pale lager, provides a crisp and clean flavor that compliments the sweetness of the potato rather than overpowering it. 

Wings

There’s nothing better than wings to snack on when it comes to watching the Super Bowl or March Madness basketball games, which are right around the corner. When pairing beers with wings, it is important to consider the spice of the sauce that overpowers the savory taste of the meat, and why you would need a smooth beer to counteract those oils that leave your mouth burning. A malty beer does just this. These beers are typically sweet and low in alcohol content, making them a perfect follow-up to the abrasive flavor of wings. 

Salads

The variety that is found in salads can cause problems when choosing a beer to accompany them. Vegetables, fruits, chesses, dressings, and vinaigrettes all give salads a variety of tastes. Pairing a sweet vinaigrette with a sweet beer is a good option as it actually minimizes the tartness perception of both. Our selection of shandys are a perfect option to accompany your salad.

Main Dishes

Pizza

The general consensus among beer drinkers is that nothing pairs better with a fresh pizza than an IPA. There is much freedom in this realm due to the wide variety of different types of IPAs! Whether you prefer west coast, east coast, double, triple, or black IPAs, the hoppy, bitter taste of an IPA is a great balance to each greasy bite that we take out of a pizza slice. The piney notes of an IPA are not overly fruitful and particularly compliment “meat lovers” type pizzas. Lucky Girl Brewing boasts a fantastic pizzamenu, with the “Nashville Hot Chicken” and “Alabama White” being some of our fan favorites on the menu. 

Burgers/Steak

Heavier beers are a great combination for beef. Beer can bring out the flavor of steak without overpowering it. This is where we recommend a porter, which have rich barley and oat flavors to accompany the heavy taste of burgers and steaks. Porters are similar to stouts, but are slightly lighter and smoother, ensuring that a well-cooked steak is still the focal point of your meal. If you are having the crew over to watch some games, throwing some steaks on the grill and breaking out a six-pack of your favorite porter is sure to impress. 

Seafood and Pasta

Dessert

When it comes to dessert, particularly chocolate-based desserts, you’re going to want a darker beer to accompany it. Beer and chocolate have a lot in common in that they both take on significant flavor through the process of fermentation. Stout beers are known for their coffee and chocolate notes in their flavor, and are usually an easy pairing for a chocolate-based dessert. A good rule for ordering a beer to drink with chocolate is to match strength with strength. Most chocolates have a very rich, cocoa butter taste. Lighter beers do not hold up well to this. A stout is the way to go! 

Most people will default to wine when it comes to sipping a beverage alongside a tasty meal from the sea, but frothy, foamy beers should not be ignored. When it comes to anything from calamari to salmon, wheat beers are a great companion. Wheat beers are bright and light, accentuating the flavor of oily seafood without leaving a strong taste in your mouth that takes away from the main meal. For most of us, seafood is not a common plate on the dinner table, so it may take some time before you find the wheat beer that fits your preferred seafood meal best. If you’re in the Paw Paw area, be sure to come try our “Very Important Beer,” an excellent American wheat ale.

If you’re looking for something different to complement your chocolate, wine is more traditionally seen as the preferred chocolate pairing over most beers. To learn about our recently opened winery and view our wine list, click here!

Lucky Girl Brewing in Paw Paw

Here at Lucky Girl, we take pride in brewing great-tasting beers. As soon as you step foot through our doors, you will take on a feeling of nostalgia and unity that our brewery was founded upon. Whether you are looking for a light snack or a full dinner, our extensive food menu will hold something that you are craving, and our wall of beers on tap will have the perfect combination to wash it down. Stop on by today!