Beer, by itself, can be wonderful, even revelatory. Food, however, is where the rubber meets the road it’s where we live. Most of us can clearly remember some of the best meals we’ve ever had. Those meals may live as peak moments in our lives. Unfortunately, modern life, for most Americans, provides too few moments like these. Even those of us who cook seriously, and I count myself among them, go through times when all our meals seem rushed and our food is little more than fuel. Even when the meals are good, there’s often something missing. This is where beer comes in.
Real beer can make any decent meal an interesting and memorable flavor experience. It can light up your senses and make you actually want to pay attention to what’s happening on your palate. Paying that little bit of attention, both to your food and to your beer, is the difference between having an “OK” culinary life and having one filled with boundless riches of flavor. Learn a little bit about the amazing variety and complexity of flavor that traditional beer brings to the table, and in return, I promise you a better life.
OUR FAVORITE DISHES
(and the beers that love them)
When matching appetizers, keep several points in mind. First, an appetizer such as smoked salmon with cream cheese and dill is salty, with a bit of fat. That’s why it’s so appealing, and it serves to whet the appetite. For most passed hors d’oeuvres, wheat beers, either German or Belgian, are the perfect choice. They’re light and brisk on the palate and incredibly versatile. Low bitterness means that they won’t overwhelm subtle flavors. If the snack is earthy perhaps a paté lean toward German weissbier for its subtle clovey smokiness. If the flavors are lighter, then perhaps go with Belgian witbier, which will show off its light aromatics of cura