The Perfect Pair: Food and Beer

Over thousands of years, beer has been inextricably connected to food. In fact, ancient cultures prized it for vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. Beer also has three distinct qualities and ingredients that can intensify, complement and create endless food-pairing possibilities.

Pairing Qualities of Beer

Alcohol: The low alcohol percentage found in beer (4-6%) complements food instead of overpowering any delicate or complex flavours.

Palate Cleansing: The alcohol breaks down fats and oils and resets the palate so every bite of food tastes as delicious as the last.

Cooking: Caramelization and browning during the beer-making process creates many sweet and savory flavours that we also enjoy in food.

The Spectrum of Beer Flavours and Aromas

Malt
Malt
Bready, honey-nutty, caramel, chocolate, coffee
Hops
Hops
Floral, fruity, earthy, spicy, citric
Yeast
Yeast
Peaches, pears, plums, bananas, oranges, lemongrass

Pairing Chart

With the chart below, determine how robust the flavour of your recipe will be and use the colour spectrum of beer to match its intensity.

Rickard's White
Rickard's White
(Belgian-style wheat)
BEER CHARACTERISTIC A hint of coriander and orange
PROTEIN Seafood
COOKING METHOD Bake
DOMINANT SPICE Delicate(e.g. parsley)
SAUCE Butter
Rickard's Bonde
Rickard's Blonde
(German-style pilsner)
BEER CHARACTERISTIC A unique blend of hops
PROTEIN Poultry
COOKING METHOD Bake
DOMINANT SPICE Medium(e.g. thyme)
SAUCE Cream
Rickard's Red
Rickard's Red
(Irish-style ale)
BEER CHARACTERISTIC A caramel malt sweetness
PROTEIN Pork
COOKING METHOD Bake
DOMINANT SPICE Savory(e.g. oregano)
SAUCE Tomato
Rickard's Dark
Rickard's Dark
(English-style porter)
BEER CHARACTERISTIC A hint of pure Quebec maple syrup
PROTEIN Beef
COOKING METHOD Bake
DOMINANT SPICE Peppery(e.g . paprika)
SAUCE BBQ
  Rickard's White (Belgian-style wheat) Rickard's Blonde (German-style pilsner) Rickard's Red (Irish-style ale) Rickard's Dark (English-style porter)
BEER CHARACTERISTIC A hint of coriander
and orange
A unique blend
of hops
A caramel malt
sweetness
A hint of pure Quebec
maple syrup
PROTEIN Seafood Poultry Pork Beef
COOKING METHOD Bake Saute Fry Broil
DOMINANT SPICE Delicate(e.g. parsley) Medium
(e.g. thyme)
Savory
(e.g. oregano)
Peppery
(e.g. paprika)
SAUCE Butter Cream Tomato BBQ

Other Pairing Tips

  • Look for common or contrasting ingredients in the beer and food you are preparing
  • If you want to emphasize sweetness, look for a malt beer
  • If you want to play down a dominant flavour, look for a traditional contrast (sweet beer vs. salty food)

These are just a few quick and easy examples, but feel free to try new combinations on your own.