Beer paired with food is a natural at Nose Dive Gastropub, including this vegetable
Thai red curry, top; sweet potato bisque with goat cheese brûlée, center; and steak
au poivre, bottom.
battered variety, can stand up to something heavier—a lager
or even a stout.
Like most restaurants that sell quite a lot of beer with their
food, Shaw’s does not print suggested pairings on the menu, but
trains servers on what beers to recommend verbally to guests.
One exception is a printed suggestion to drink a Belgian-style
saison with oysters. This farmhouse ale’s complexity, with
citrus notes and effervescence, complements the brininess of
oysters and also appeals to many wine drinkers, Tilden says.
Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, Calif., suggests a citrusy wheat
beer to pair with Oysters Casino topped with peppers, bacon and
hot sauce. “The citrus notes are just perfect instead of lemon,” says
Louis Christiansen, kitchen manager. “It enhances all the flavors.”
Wheat beer also is the choice of Five Fifty-Five’s Corry with
the signature truffle/lobster macaroni and cheese containing
butter-poached Maine lobster, white truffle oil, shaved black
truffles and four artisanal cheeses. “I like to pair a local
wheat beer that works well in that it is crisp and slightly
acidic, which allows the beer to refresh the palate in between
bites of what is a very decadent dish,” he explains.
SPICY FOODS LIKE BEER
Chef Anthony Leonhardi of Salut Bar Américain in St. Paul,
Minn., likes to pair a bitter extra pale ale with salmon tartare
that has an Asian twist with kumquat and soy chutney, serrano
peppers, avocado and sesame. The brasserie, owned by Parasole
Restaurant Holdings, Edina, Minn., recommends a malty black ale
that has hints of chocolate with cold-smoked prawn and grits with
bacon lardons, chanterelles, wild baby arugula and violet mustard.
PHOTO CREDIT: Douglas Smith; opposite, top, Bill Werme Photography; bottom, Anthony Leonhardi
Other chefs also like to pair spicier seafood dishes with beer,
including Dan Van Rite of Hinterland in Milwaukee. He says
pale ale is an ideal accompaniment for his andouille sausage
and panko-crumb-crusted redfish with bacon hash, reduced
Louisiana hot sauce beurre blanc and chive aioli.
Spicy Asian food is another natural for beer pairing. Nose
Dive’s Pearson likes lagers with almost anything Southeast
Asian, as well as with vegetable curries.
Phil Johnson, former beverage director at Romera in New
York, says, “A lot of wine pairings are happy accidents.
Beer has worked out great. There is something about the
hoppiness of the IPA (India Pale Ale) from Upstate New