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Mind Blowing Beer Pairing Ideas

January 22, 2016

Have I mentioned my beer buying problem recently? There are some things that just suck me up into the hype machine. Limited time offers are one of them. Packaging is another. And the current state of the beer market is just a minefield of temptation for me.

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up a few cans at Trader Joe’s, including Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA, which I really really like. Then it was off to The Fountain for Tavern Time, where I had some more beer. But finding myself next to Beer Belly, I couldn’t resist popping in and just looking around their bottle shop.

I came out with Boom Sauce, Steal This Can, and Lizard King. Never heard of them? I think that’s the point. My beer is much much cooler than I am. But if I don’t buy these now, I may never get another chance. And I do love the packaging. Plus, the liquid in the can is mighty tasty. Tasty enough to justify its premium? That’s another post.

Today, I wanted to share with you some of the answers that I got to the question I put out last week about mind blowing beer pairings.

To refresh your memory, I wasn’t looking simply for styles of beer that go well with certain foods. Things like German pilsners paired with fatty wursts are classic combinations. What I really wanted were specific combinations that stopped you dead in your tracks and made you say, “Wow!”

These moments are hard to come by, and just because these pairings made lightning strike for someone else doesn’t mean they will cause a similar reaction inside another person’s mouth.

All the same, they’re at least a good starting place. And since the answers rolled in over all kinds of different platforms, I thought I would consolidate them here for the sake of convenience. Now, I’ll always know where to find them.

Specalus wrote,
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine with the Food Lab’s recipe for Brussels sprouts gratin.

Mike H offered,
Founder’s Breakfast Stout and anything chocolate.

Jack C said,
Stone Smoked Porter and Stilton.

Randy K suggested,
Duck drumsticks at the Merry Monk in Albany paired with a Kriek lambic.

Ewan M. reached back into his past to find,
Duchesse de Bourgogne with a creme fraiche/raspberry dessert.

Lenny G. had a very specific eating and drinking ritual,
Take barleywine, a Japanese persimmon and nice chunk of white stilton (not soaked in port) with either apricots or almond slivers in it depending on your taste and the character of the barleywine. Crackers are optional. Slice the persimmon thinly. Eat a slice or two of persimmon followed by a taste of barleywine and then stilton. Repeat.

Daniel K. had his top blown at a City Beer Hall dinner,
Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy IPA with Balsam Fir Ricotta Panna Cotta, Corn Nuts, and Chili Oil.

But he also had a cheese and beer pairing of note,
Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy and Jasper Hill Harbison.

Nuzzy suggests a few things including,
Saison Dupont and BBQ Hot Wings at The Ruck.
California Roll from Yoshi Sushi and Pivo Pils.
Savory Duck Crepes and Rare Form Plum Love Saison.

Greg B. had a pairing memory that made his mouth water,
Petrus Aged Red paired with lamb braised in port, cherries and dark chocolate.

CDF shares an annual Christmas time revelation and a Germanic breakfast treat,
Classic leg of lamb roasted with rosemary paired with Westmalle dubbel.
Julius Echter Hefe-Weissbier with scrambled eggs and latkes.

Dimitrios goes to Northeast Chinese in Hannaford Plaza to pull together,
Szechuan double cooked pork belly and beef chow fun with Oscar Blues Death by Coconut.

Addie’s Dad posted this article from Serious Eats, which has a few others:
Gorgonzola Picante with Left Hand Milk Stout.
Ewephoria Aged Sheep’s Milk Gouda with Saison du Pont.
Montgomery’s Cheddar with Alaskan IPA.
Chimay à la Bière with Chimay Grand Reserve Blue Label.
Brillat Savarin Triple Crème Brie with Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen.


Okay. Well, it looks like I’ve got a lot of eating and drinking homework ahead of me. But I can’t think of a more fun project to tackle. And who knows, maybe I’ll strike gold at the City Beer Hall Wild Game Dinner at the end of this month. As fate would have it, the event is already sold out, so if you’ve missed it, you’ll have to wait until the next one.

But I promise to report my findings. Have a delicious weekend.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. addiesdad permalink
    January 22, 2016 12:10 pm

    Man, that Stilton/Barleywine combo is a great one! May I offer some advice? Recruit the Cheese Traveler and the good folks at Beer Belly to help you find pairings that might be similar to the ones in Serious Eats, but add new twists or tastes. That’s what I did with Putnam Market and EBI in Saratoga.

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