Many great meals depend enormously on many different factors. Environment, company,  personal palette, what you’re drinking, and what you’re eating can all contribute to an enjoyable experience. The following is a very basic guideline that you can use as a springboard to explore how the many different styles of beer can be successfully paired with your next meal.

Ale:     

 

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Pair with: Burgers; buffalo wings; Asian food; Mexican food; spicy food; nutty food; fried food; pizza; steaks; Cheddar, Parmesan, or Romano cheeses.

Lager:

 

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Pair with: Shellfish; light seafood; sushi; grilled pork and chicken; not-too-heavy pasta dishes (without cream or meat sauces); Southeast; Asian food; Latin food; Mexican food; spicy food.

Pilsner:

 

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Pair with: American cheese; Muenster, Havarti, and Monterey Jack cheeses; salads; light seafood; salmon; tuna; trout; asparagus; Asian food; Mexican food; spicy food.

Porter:

 

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Pair with: Smoked foods; barbecue; sausage; rich stews; meats; bacon; chili; braised dishes.

Stout:

 

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Pair with: Roasted foods; smoked foods; barbecued/grilled foods; salty foods; oysters; rich stews; braised dishes; chocolate; desserts (ideally the beer is sweeter than the dish).

Wheat Beer/ Hefeweizen:

 

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Pair with: Light soups and salads; vegetarian dishes; sushi; Gruyère cheese and Feta/goat cheese; sweet and fruity Asian dishes; citrus-flavored dishes, including dessert and salad dressings.

Fruit beer/Lambic/Sour:

 

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Pair with: Mascarpone cheese; light white meat; foods driven by herbs and spices; duck and pork dishes with sweet components (avoid very tart lambics); pickled dishes (great with tart lambics); salads with fruity dressings; fruity desserts.