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.”
(More beer and dessert pairing ideas here.)

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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