Craft Beer Food Pairings

Being passionate about both, we thought we would take a look at craft beer food pairings. Whether looking to add that perfect craft beer to your home cooked meal, or wanting to sample some well-paired fare at a bar/restaurant near you, these food and beer items are paired together for rich complementary flavors and crisp contrasts.

We reached out to Old Town Pour House Manager and Certified Cicerone┬« Corey Blohm to see what his masterful palate would suggest for some of these popular dishes. From one of the best beer lists in Chicago (90+ taps and bombers), here are his favorite food and beer pairings…

Burger Beer Pairing

Burger Craft Beer Food Pairing
OTPH: Pour House Burger (menu)

“Lots of ways to go with this one. I like the Great Divide Hoss. This is a Marzen/Oktoberfest style made with rye. The lightly caramel sweetness is great with the char on the burger. A hint of spice from the rye and a refreshing acidity help to cut through the richness of the cheese and fried onion ring.”

Fish Tacos Beer Pairing

Fish Tacos Craft Beer Food Pairing
OTPH: Fish Tacos

“I think I’ll put a Belgian witbier with this one. Allagash White is an easy choice. Lightly lemony and sweet to counter the spice of the chipotle and jalape├▒o. The lighter body of this beer matches the fish without overwhelming it.”

Mac and Cheese Beer Pairing

Mac and Cheese Craft Beer Food Pairing
OTPH: Truffle Mac & Cheese

“I like a Belgian here. Something very effervescent to freshen your palate after that rich and creamy cheese sauce. Urthel Saisonierre is nice, a hint of herbal-ness to dance with that truffle. You could go with the Sans Frontiere from Denmark brewery To Ol on our large format list. Those same bright bubbles with a dry finish and a touch of earthiness that I enjoy to complement the smoky Neuske’s bacon.”

Chicken Wings Beer Pairing

Chicken Wings Craft Beer Food Pairing
OTPH: Drummettes

“Spicy can be tricky. Hoppy/Bitter beers can really amp up spiciness, as can lots of carbonation (not always bad, just know your audience). I prefer something malty to balance out the spice. Belhaven Scottish Ale on nitro is a great choice here. The light caramel maltiness will quench the fire and the lower carbonation helps it feel fuller on the palate. There is a bit of smoke in the Belhaven as well which plays nicely with the pungent bleu cheese.”

Dessert Beer Pairing

Dessert Craft Beer Food Pairing
OTPH: Peanut Butter Snickers Pie

“Dessert is always fun. Wells & Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is a solid choice for many desserts (peanut butter + chocolate? Hell yes). If you prefer a boozy after-dinner beverage, Allagash Curieaux is a Belgian style trippel aged in Jim Beam barrels; the whiskey sure comes through on this 11% sipper. Another fun one: go Elvis Presley and try the Banana Bread Beer with that peanut butter.”

For further adventure in the world of Craft Beer Food Pairings, have you thought about attending a beer dinner? Check out the forthcoming Beer Dinner in Chicago with Lagunitas Brewing and Howells & Hood. The CA. brewery is launching a Chicago outlet very soon, and looked to Chef Scott Walton to create five dishes to match their range of craft beers.

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