Wine has a long history of being paired with food, amid talk of fruity this and light on the palate that, but the real buzz these days is all about beer and food. And in Ireland right now, there’s a bit of a beer renaissance – ever since the Porterhouse opened in 1996, Irish tongues have been wagging for ever more interesting brews. Gone are the times of a single tap for Guinness at a bar, these days an ever-growing amount of pubs in Ireland have an increasingly varied selection of beers from all over Europe!
In more recent years, there’s been a mini explosion of local Irish breweries and you don’t have to go far to find them. Take a look in any off licence and you’re as likely to find bottles of Galway Hooker, Dungarvin’s Black Rock Irish Stout and Curim Gold Wheat as you are cans of Smithwicks!
So what does this have to do with food? Well, with all this great plonk to choose from, it doesn’t take long before a few intrepid taste testers start pairing good beers with great food. So we’ve put together a little guide as to what beers should be paired with what foods. Rather than going by food type, it’s usually better to go by the beer and pair it with styles of foods.
Stouts & porters
Award-winning Portsehouse Plain
Perfect with red meats like burgers and steaks, beef rogan josh, lamb balti and beef with black pepper sauce. Stouts like Guinness have strong, dark caramel flavours and that goes well with stronger food flavours (though not necessarily spicy flavours!).
Recommended: Porterhouse Plain with a hearty beef & black bean sauce dish!
O'Hara's Irish Red Ale
Lighter ales are good all-rounders and go with just about anything, especially chipper chips, pizzas, omelettes and most chicken dishes. Darker ales, like O’Hara’s Traditional Red Ale, go well with most Thai and Chinese starters and any seafood dishes.
Recommended: Dungarvin’s Copper Coast Red Ale with king prawn fried rice!
Pale Ales & Wheat Beers
Sierra Navada Pale Ale
Pale ales stand up to a bigger food punch than standard ales, the strong hoppy flavour can withstand some intense flavours. If you like your spicy foods like some Indian and Thai dishes, pair it with a good pale ale like Sierra Nevada. On the other side of the spectrum pale ales also go great with fried foods like chicken and Chinese shredded meat dishes.
Recommended: Porterhouse Hersbrucker with a spicy chicken madras!
Lagers are great all-rounders like ales and are easily paired with pizzas, salads, sausages, chipper chips, pasta and more. Don’t stray too far into strong foods as the taste of the beer will disappear as fast as the food leaves the plate!
Recommended: Pilsner Urquell with a classic margherita pizza!
We really hope this quick crash-course in beer and food has given you a few ideas! Next time you’re ordering a tasty meal for two on Feedme.ie, why not nip down to the off-licence and pick up a bottle of good beer while your food is en route?