Beer pairings tips for your wedding & holiday events.
Hop on the craft beer trend — pun intended — by learning to become a beer pairings connoisseur in time for planning from the bachelor parties to your reception bar. Impress your guests with the right beer pairings in flavour notes, appropriate glassware, and what to pair with what you are serving.
1. Learn the basics. Many of beer’s flavours come from malted cereal grains. Primarily barley — that contribute to its sweetness, colour, and richness. The flavors range from bread-y and biscuit-y to a roasted or chocolate taste. All styles fall into one of two families, ales and lagers.
Lagers are fermented for a longer time at cooler temperatures, resulting in a crisp beer with a lighter body. Pilsners are a great example of a popular lager style. And are clean and refreshing showcasing light grains with a balance of spicy hops on the finish. Ales tend to have more body and greater flavour complexity. Which lends itself nicely to styles that emphasize bitterness or rich malt flavours. Stouts are a great example of a darker ale, with roasted barley providing colour and a coffee-like flavor.
Beer pairings menu tips are also good for bridal showers, birthdays and holidays.
2. Drink with your eyes. Colour is great way to find out what malt flavours you can expect and how strong the beer will taste. Choose a lighter beer like a blonde for a refreshing taste. And go darker for increasingly richer flavours. Make sure not to confuse darkness with bitterness. There is no way to determine how hoppy a beer is based on its colour.
3. Pick the perfect glass. Remember that a cool-looking glassware is more than an aesthetic consideration. The size, shape, and stem all work together to affect the drink’s taste, carbonation, amount of head (foam), hop oils, and aroma. Choose a mug or stein for stronger ales and lagers. A classic pint glass for lighter beers and blondes. A flute or tulip glass for fruity beers. And a Weizen glass for wheat beers.
4. Pair this with that. Lagers are perfect for light, fresh dishes or anything involving bread, wheat beers. Fruit beers are great for vegetarian dishes and salads. And pale ales are exactly what your turkey needs.
For desserts and winter comfort foods, choose a sweeter beer like Granville Island’s Lions Winter Ale. With complex layers of vanilla, cocoa, and caramel, this brew gives you plenty to get warm and cozy. It is nicely balanced so the sweeter flavours don’t overwhelm.