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A beginner’s guide to pairing food and beer
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A beginner’s guide to pairing food and beer

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How to pair beer and food - The Daily Meal

How to pair beer and food - The Daily Meal

No longer relegated to football games and sports bars, beer is in its prime. The drink has been growing in popularity for well over a decade in large part because of the explosion of the craft beer scene. In 2019, small and independent brewer sales increased at a rate of 4% and there was more than a 9% increase in brewery openings from 2018 to 2019. But the craft beer industry is more than just numbers — it’s also become a hub for creativity.

There has been a shift in the craft beer paradigm in which there is now greater complexity and increased variety within each style of the beverage. According to Darnell Paul, market manager for New York City’s Sloop Brewing Co., this trend has made beer even more well suited to food pairings — a subsection of dining that’s historically been dominated by wine lovers.

“Beer has unlimited potential when it comes to flavors,” says Paul. “Remember that beer can be as complex as any wine or as refreshing as any spritzer. Beer is one of the only alcoholic beverages that runs the gambit.”

Wine programs and sommeliers are commonplace at mid-range to upscale restaurants across the country. But over the last few decades, beer has slowly made its way into the conversation. The Cicerone Certification Program, which was founded in 2007, provides the type of credentials for beer professionals that have long been available to wine pros via the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Food and beer pairing is nothing new; because beer can be brewed with a variety of different ingredients, it lends itself well to food pairings. With the use of ingredients as far ranging as nuts, fruit, chocolate and more, beer can complement the flavor profiles of a variety of different meals from a plate of spicy chicken wings to an oozing chocolate lava cake.

If you’re new to food and beer pairings and want to learn more or even put together your own pairing menu, these quick tips will help you get started.

These pairings are great for beginners but if you still feel completely lost, go back to basics with this helpful explainer that answers some common beer questions.

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