There’s a craft beer movement happening across the United States, so what better time to shed some light on some of my favorite craft beer food pairings? One of the questions I get about my craft beer
obsession love is what do you eat with that? Well, folks, you’re in luck. Because today I’m bringing you three separate craft beer food pairings.
*Please note this message is intended for audiences 21+ or legal drinking age | Please drink responsibly*
When Angelica and I started talking about collaborating on this (*cough* In November *cough*), I could not decide which beers I wanted to highlight – for I love so many. After some careful consideration, I landed on the kinds of craft beer I’d highlight – an IPA, a Stout, and a Pale Ale. Coming up with the craft beer food pairings was much simpler. Once I had the varieties out of the way, the food just kind of fell into place.
Craft Beer Food Pairings
So the variety of craft beer was hard to choose… the food was easy. But what about the individual beers? HARD. I stood in front of the “make your own 6-pack” station for far too long. So many of my favorite craft beers were there. It was so hard to choose. In the end, I walked way with 3 great beers. Staples, really.
Cedar Creek Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale. This is possibly my favorite beer of all time. Pale Ales are typically citrusy, but not enormously overpowering. The bitterness can vary, but most Pale Ales have a good balance. This balance makes them the perfect beer for craft beer food pairings because almost anything will do.
Because the pale ale is the sweatpants of beer, I decided to pair it with an equally comfort-food-esque meal…. Chinese Food. So, on those nights that you cannot bring yourself to toe into the kitchen and you order Chinese, you can crack a Pale Ale and know that all is right for the moment.
Left Hand Milk Stout – Nitro. I actually remember the first time I had this beer. I was sitting at my favorite bar, with my favorite guy, and he ordered me this beer. I remember feeling like it was the creamiest and easiest beer I had ever tasted.
Some people tend to dislike stouts because they’re dark and can have a thick feel to them. You have to be a certain kind of person to really appreciate a stout, but I happen to be one of those people. Stouts frequently embody rich flavors like chocolate and coffee, but they’re typically deeper than that and sometimes can have a burnt taste on the tongue.
When choosing a food for this craft beer food pairing, I knew I needed something that many would love. I could have gone with an interesting stew, or thick soup, but I decided to go with something familiar – chocolate. I paired this stout with milk chocolate brownies and the coupling was divine.
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. This is a potent one, friend, so if you’re not accustomed to the 9% ABV, maybe you share this one with a friend. For those of you unfamiliar with IPAs (India Pale Ales), they were produced way-back-when to meet a demand beer in England. Apparently, beer would spoil on the trip from India to England, so they bumped up the alcohol content to make sure it made the journey intact. So, IPAs have a higher alcohol content than a lot beers.
IPAs also super hoppy. Some may describe this flavor as floral or citrusy. It’s a bold beer, and the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA is no different. So when deciding on craft beer food pairings, I knew this one needed a dish that could hold its own on the powerful flavors front.
Spicy food was a no brainer. The spice in the food would be cooled by the powerful nature of the IPA. I thought about traditional tacos, but where’s the fun in that? I upped the ante and made a Torchy’s Taco copy cat recipe.
- Chicken Tenderloins
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
- Oil for frying
- 1/2 c Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 lime
- Prepare flour for breading chicken by adding 1 tbsp of taco seasoning to the flour and stir until combined.
- Bread the chicken - Dredge in flour, then in the egg/milk mixture, then again in flour.
- Place chicken in the hot oil and fry until cooked through and golden brown.
- For the sauce, mix greek yogurt with 1/2 tsp taco seasoning and 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning. Mash in 1/2 avocado.
- Cut up 1/2 a tomato and 1 jalapeno very thinly for taco toppings.
- Place a friend chicken tender on a flour tortilla, top with sauce and sliced tomatoes and jalapeno. Top with cheese and serve immediately.
Be sure to head on over to Angelica’s blog for more craft beer food pairings.