Create a point of difference for your Valentine’s Day menu by pairing it with American craft beer. The versatility and wide flavour spectrum make beer the perfect partner to accompany almost any food dish, romantic or otherwise!
When planning your pairings think of beer as one of the flavour components of a dish, the only difference being it’s in a glass not on the plate! Hops are insanely food friendly and will go with just about anything. Remember these golden rules:
- Match the intensity of the beer (derived from acidity, alcohol, bitterness, carbonation and residual sugars) with the intensity of the food (acidity, bitterness, cooking methods, fat and mouthfeel)
- Decide whether to create your dish first then chose a beer or base your dish around the beer available. Either will work.
- Hop bitterness can be balanced by the addition of fat, and hops can also enhance spicy notes
- Foods with spice, heat, acid and complex flavours are a great way to showcase and utilize certain beer styles. Hops can calm heat and spice, malt can balance acidity and carbonation can cleanse and refresh the palate
- Alcohol can be balanced by both sweetness and fat
- Always serve craft beer in style-specific glassware for a more premium dining experience. If you don’t have the correct glassware, a 150-200ml all purpose wine glass will suffice
American craft beer is recommended because a) American craft brewers benefit from proximity to the freshest examples of highly sought-after hop varieties. By visiting the hop fields and selecting the hop varieties themselves brewers are able to develop flavour profiles in American craft beer that are difficult to match elsewhere, b) new and exciting American craft beers are emulated all over the world (think juicy/hazy IPAs) and consumer demand for styles like American IPA, barrel-aged beer and well-made classics continues to grow and c) the quality and freshness of raw materials combined with brewing expertise allows American craft brewers to produce world-class examples of beer styles which regularly win top honours at high profile international beer competitions judged by panels of beer experts
Restauranteurs and chefs are welcome to make use of the free resources available on www.brewersassociation.org including the Beer & Food Professional Course downloadable free of charge from www.Craftbeer.com
A wide selection of world-class quality American craft beer is available from selected wholesalers