It might sound like a manly pursuit to drink beer with everything, but it appears that beer has become the new wine and apparently we’ve been told a few porky pies, it’s actually beer that goes better with food than wine does! (Say it enough times and it becomes true)
Something like a Doom Bar goes wonderfully with a tasty burger and is more fitting for the occasion than any sort of Shiraz. Can you imagine a Shiraz being quaffed down with a quarter-pounder? But just like wine, there is a certain etiquette to drinking beer, so let’s get to it so you can get to the store!
This is the best place to start as the alcohol content is usually quite low in comparison to the stronger ales. Mild beers are usually coloured amber to brown and are usually quite clear. These are things like Ruddles. For the food connoisseur, it goes well with delicate fish and hearty meals but ones that are on the light side, such as eggs benedict.
Pale Ales or English Bitters
If you are looking to spend an afternoon being acquainted with the delights of ale, then these should be your first choices. These bitters are usually quite an earthy taste with a dry finish and are usually pretty malty, especially those beers with the higher alcohol content. As a stepping stone ale, these are a great way to encourage your palate with more delicate flavours but with a higher alcohol content. And once you have mastered the lower alcohol content (around 3.2%) you can work your way up to the ones past 4% with ales like Galway Hooker, which is light in body and pairs up with many dark meats. They are usually medium gold to copper in colour and also pair up great with oily fish like salmon as well as your heavy meats like pork chops and go great with sausages and mash.
India Pale Ale
One for the seasoned professional, the IPA is a very famous ale and is fast becoming the one to beat as there are various incarnations making their way around the world and even American craft breweries are making their own IPA’s. The ideal ale for a picnic in the middle of summer, it is a smooth medium bodied beer and is rounded off with a nice dry sensation. These are usually gold or amber in colour and should be quite clear. These ales go great with spicy foods such as Indian curries but also surprisingly goes down well with some desserts search as a nice carrot cake.
Porter – My Favorite!
This ale is a bit harder to define, but it tends to be in the range of dark brown beers and is on the way towards being a stout. So for those that love their Guinness but can’t do with the heaviness, this is an ideal choice. The nutty, caramelly, and toffee notes pair great with smoked meat, grilled pork and chicken, and if you fancy a chocolate chip cookie, it works wonders as a desert beer.
There are your four basic categories that you will find when you head to a bar. So order a pint, sit back, and enjoy.