York—it’s feminine, floral, aromatic and balanced.” He calls
the pairing of that beer “magical” with a spicy composition
called Isis, which contains dehydrated vegetables, micro
greens and baby vegetables.
Romera recommends wheat beers and IPAs with many of its
curries and tandooris. “It’s almost impossible to pair them
with wine or champagne because the spice is too strong,”
Johnson says. He also finds that emphasizing beer makes
first-time guests feel less intimidated in the intimate 50-seat
Imported bottled beers also may be recommended with specific
dishes, such as a Japanese ginger spiced ale with broiled
Spanish mackerel at Hugo’s in Portland, Maine. Janet Webber,
beverage manager, says this beer is a refreshing pairing with all
elements of the dish that include shaved grilled beef, matsutake
mushroom, udon noodle and dashi.
Beer and sausage has long been a natural pairing, but some
contemporary restaurants are upping the ante by offering
less-common sausages combined with other foods. Half
Moon Bay Brewing Co. outside San Francisco, for example,
pairs an amber ale with its signature Portuguese stew that
contains a plethora of seafood with a linguiça sausage and a
At Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen in Denver, chef de cuisine
Jorel Pierce selects a double IPA because of its floral
qualities to go with the hand-cranked boudin noir, blood
sausage that contains curry, raisins and eggplant.
WHAT ABOUT DESSERT PAIRINGS?
Real beer lovers don’t shy away from beer with dessert.
Because of its typically chocolate and coffee accents, stout
usually comes to mind as a counterpoint to sweet flavors.
The stout paired with Half Moon Bay’s “beeramisu,” for
example, an obvious play on tiramisu, also is used in the
confection’s preparation to soak the ladyfingers.
Porter is the dessert beer of choice at Salut Bar Américain
with rolled toffee/banana cake with fresh dates, smoked
banana/chocolate mousse, vanilla buttermilk ice cream and
TOP: At Shaw’s Crab House, shrimp is paired with a lighter-bodied ale that lends
acidity and crispness.
chocolate/caramel candies, according to Leonhardi. “The
smoky and sweet flavors go well with porter,” he notes.
A maple bock recommended with apple beignets at Hinterland
also is used in the beignet batter and in the accompanying ice
cream. The brewer taps his own maple syrup to incorporate
into the beer, says Van Rite.
Some restaurants serve beer even with salad. At Euclid
Hall, Pierce says four or five totally different beers go well
with a roasted cauliflower salad with its mild shisito pepper
marmalade, goat cheese scallions and tempura “crunchies.”
“We leave it for the servers to sell what they want,” he says.
“We don’t approach it as if we have all the answers. We open
up a conversation.”
FREELANCE WRITER CAROLYN WALKUP CONTINUES TO WRITE ABOU T FOOD, BEVERAGES AND
RES TAURANTS AROUND THE COUNTRY, AS SHE HAS FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES.