Beer is the new wine – at least when it comes to matching

Matching your beer to your food has never been cooler.

Matching your beer to your food has never been cooler.

Industry professionals, budding chefs and students in food industry courses all need to keep a close eye on the ever-changing landscape of Australia's dining industry in order to stay ahead of the competition.

One current emerging trend involves that of matching your food to your drink – but this time it's beer, not wine, that people are pairing with meals.

Getting cheesy

In an interview with Rachel Lebihan of FoodService magazine, cheesemonger Laura Lown outlined the growing movement toward matching cheese with beer, as opposed to wine. This is because the yeasty and earthy flavours of the beer match perfectly with those creamy textures of the cheese.

"Some people say that beer goes better with cheese because they both start from the same varietal and also the flavours are very similar, so when you describe beer and cheese you find you use the same descriptive words," she told the publication.

What works, what doesn't

Look for beers that have tasting notes in common with foods  – for example, a spicy Mexican meal could be perfectly paired with a beer that has spicy notes in it. At the opposite end of the scale, food and beer with contrasting flavours can actually be a successful match, with the opposing tastes helping to balance each other out. In general, light-bodied brews work best with light dishes, while heavier, darker ales are ideal to go with your Sunday roast or dense dessert.

Different types of beers require different food pairings, according to a beer matching chart produced by BrewersAssociation.Org. Pale ales generally work well with a wide variety of foods, particularly cheddar cheese, meat pies and pumpkin flan, whereas brown ale goes best with hearty foods such as smoked sausage and roast pork. Match your amber lager to foods that have a bit of spice, or accompany it with a chunk of white cheddar for a taste sensation. 

The only rule is there are no rules

While the above guidance can certainly help you on your beer-matching journey, rules have nothing on experience. Practice makes perfect when it comes to pairing beer with food, and if a combination tastes good to you, go for it!

Put it into practice

William Angliss Institute can help you put your newfound beer-matching abilities to good use with a range of rewarding food industry courses.