Matching food with beer can lift a dish, as well as showcase the complex nature of a truly great brew. Now that barbecue season is in full swing, burgers are inevitably on the menu.
Not only does beer add layers of flavour, it also ably cuts through a burger’s rich taste; however, it’s not as simple as plucking a random bottle from the fridge. Some beer styles can overwhelm the burger, while others get lost on the palette.
St Austell Brewery’s sommelier, Marc Bishop, tells us his perfect pairings for this summer….
Pairing with chicken presents a different challenge. Because chicken has a milder flavour than other popular barbecue meats, the last thing you would want is to overpower it with a more assertive beer. Lager is, therefore, the perfect match – the conditioning of the beer scrubs the taste buds leaving them freshly prepared and cleansed for the next mouthful.
A lager with a crisp finish will enhance the flavour of delicately herbed chicken without masking it. The meat isn’t as dense as a chop or steak, so the drink doesn’t have to work as hard. Lager is also the perfect match for popular barbecue accompaniments, such as new potatoes and salads, as well as pork sausage hot dogs.
A beef burger is often served with tangy relish and rambunctious accompaniments. The saltiness of beef, the sweetness of ketchup and richness of caramelised onions all demand a big flavour profile when it comes to choosing a beer.
A pale ale that is light, zesty and full of tasty hops is both easy-drinking beer as well as refreshing for the palate and allows the food flavours to shine through while being bitter and sweet enough to hold its own.
A hot and flavoursome blend of thoroughly appetising beans and veg, spicy bean burgers are deliciously satisfying for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
Hot chilli goes extremely well with a porter or stout. The milky sweetness of the chocolate tones in such a beer is offset by the spices in the burger. Two big flavours resulting in a fine match.