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There are SO many beers available these days, and it can be hard to know what pairs best with what. Following along with our suggestions for the best beer and food pairings. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just want to know your stuff, we’ve got you covered.

The Best Pairings Based on Style

Beer varies greatly in color, taste, alcohol content, and mouthfeel. For a basic idea of perfect pairings, check out the guide below. If you’d prefer a little more detail, read on!

Light beers: Burgers, spicy food, and salads
Wheat beers: Fruit-filled desserts and spicy food
India pale ales (IPAs): Barbecue, Mexican food, and Steak
Amber ales: Any fried food, pizza, and smoked meats
Dark lagers: Burgers, pizza, and stews
Brown ales: Fish, sausage and sushi
Porters: Gamey meats, seafood, and coffee desserts
Stouts: Mexican food, shellfish, and chocolate desserts

Your Detailed Guide to Pairings

Light Lager Food Pairings
Light lagers traditionally have a refreshing flavor, making them the perfect match for spicy dishes. Truth be told, there is very little a light lager doesn’t pair well with, but here are a few of our “perfect pairings”:

Fried fish
Hot dogs
Buffalo wings
French fries

Wheat Beer Food Pairings
Wheat beers carry lighter carbonation than other beers and are very versatile, making them easy to pair with most foods. Here are some of the most ideal food pairings:

Buffalo wings
Spicy noodles

India Pale Ale Food Pairings
American IPA in a pint glass
Typically, IPAs feature a medium amber color and a very bitter flavor. Citrus and herbal notes are often added to cut through this flavor. There are a huge variety of IPA’s available these days, so the rules aren’t super strict when it comes to pairings. Here are some of our favorites:

Barbecue ribs
French fries
Mozzarella sticks

Amber Ale Food Pairings
Amber ales contain a medium mouthfeel and a color palette that ranges from amber to a dark reddish-gold. With their dry, crisp finish, ambers are great palate cleansers. Here are a few perfect matches for amber ales:

Barbecue pulled pork
Jerk chicken

Dark Lager Food Pairings
Dark lagers have a very distinctive taste. They’re quite popular in Europe and are an excellent match for hearty, traditional European dishes. Here are some great food pairings:

Bangers and mash

Brown Ale Food Pairings
Brown ales have subtle hints of coffee and chocolate, much like stouts and porters. They’re a versatile option when it comes to pairings, and there’s very little they don’t work well with. Here are a few pairings we enjoy:

Roast pork

Porter Food Pairings
Porters are composed using roasted brown malts. This gives the beer strong coffee, caramel, and chocolate notes, giving them a deep, rich flavor. It’s best to pair them with similar-textured foods. Here are our personal favorites:

Mexican mole
Rabbit, venison, and game meats

Stout Food Pairings
Stouts are black in color with a dark roast flavor similar to porters. They usually contain notes of chocolate and coffee, with a silky consistency, making them the perfect match for desserts. Here are some of the best foods to pair with stouts:

Chocolate truffles
Chocolate mousse

We hope you love your next beer and food pairing!