“We go together like peas and carrots” is a very old saying, which when used indicates a person’s perception of the level of compatibility with another individual. I would have to assume for it be a positive perception, the person making the statement would have to be a fan of both vegetables.

The same is true when making a determination in the realm of “Food and Beer Pairings” — the very exciting and rapidly growing offshoot of the craft beer industry. You’ll necessarily have to like both the beer and the food to establish a meaningful link between the two.

Remember, recommendations are always going to be based upon the recommender’s palate at that time, since palates do change as time passes. Here are a few basic suggestions to help you get started on your own brew-based gastronomical adventures:

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Blonde Ales, Cream Ales, Weissbiers, Hefeweizens, Kolsch

Consider seafood dishes, sushi, lighter cheeses and salads to create a noteworthy meal.

Local Offerings:

  • Bold City Brewery — Killer Whale Cream Ale
  • Engine 15 Brewing Company — 904 Weissguy
  • Intuition Ale Works — Jon Boat Kolsch
  • Veteran’s United Craft Brewery — Hedgehog Hefeweizen

Pale and Red Ales

Focus on “bubba food” like hamburgers, hot dogs and tacos to make a big hit at the dinner table. Sprinkle some stilton blue cheese on that salad or arrange a few slices of derby cheese around a plate of black olives as an appetizer.

Local Offerings:

  • Bold City Brewery — 1901 Red Ale
  • Pinglehead Brewing Company — Pinglehead Red Ale
  • Green Room Brewing Company — Pablo Beach Pale Ale

India Pale Ales (IPAs)

To balance that hop jolt IPAs provide, plan on something substantial like thick-battered fried chicken, spicy barbeque or anything with red or yellow curry in its base.

Local Offerings:

  • Aardwolf Brewing Company — Insert (Hop Pun) Here American IPA
  • Veterans United Craft Brewery — Hopbanshee IPA
  • Engine 15 Brewing Company — Old Battle Axe IPA
  • Green Room Brewing Company — Pablo Beach Pale Ale

Sour Beers

This distinct flavor experience has several food groups currently being touted as great pairing partners, so the field is wide open for you. You might try peel-and-eat shrimp or lemon chicken from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

Local Offerings:

  • Aardwolf Brewing Company — San Marco Sour
  • Aardwolf Brewing Company — Lactic Zeppelin

Dubbels, Tripels and Strong Ales

These will make your tummy happy with substantial slab meats like porterhouse and ribeye and large shellfish like crab and lobster.

Local Offerings:

  • Pinglehead Brewing Company — Ambitious Monk Tripel
  • Pinglehead Brewing Company — Rawhide Strong Ale

Stouts and Porters

Often, these beer types are enjoyed near the end of the evening, so it is not surprising that desserts, especially those that are chocolate-based, are wonderful companions. Breakfast stouts go well with pancakes, waffles, French toast and thick, cheesy omelettes and souffles. There are certainly other foods which will work well with both, but to neutralize the overpowering taste of those beers, you’ll need to choose very intensely flavored spicy food.

Local Offerings:

  • Intuition Ale Works — King Street Stout
  • Pinglehead Brewing Company — Mind Drive Extreme Imperial Porter
  • Green Room Brewing Company — Count Shakula Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
  • Zeta Brewing Company — Power to the Porter

Motivated? Hungry? I certainly am!

Visit our local breweries and see which beers are available in package or growler fills in order to assemble your perfect creations at home. When dining at our local eateries, choose those dishes with food similar to the list above to pair with the perfect pint of brew. If local breweries don’t have your desired beer style, check with Beer:30, Grassroots, AleWife, Cask, Total Wine or Broudy’s and ask their craft beer savvy folks to help you out.

By Regina a.k.a. Jax Brew Bitch | Contributor

Wine more your style? Check out our wine and food pairings by clicking here