No.1 travel guide for Belgium; dedicated to Belgian beer and food culture.

Golden rules for combining beer with food


Email  •  Print

Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2013-07-12 15:00:18 +0200 / Last Updated: 12 months ago

beer and foodpairing; belgian beer Duvel-Moortgat Ambassador Nicolas Soenen
© BeerTourism.com


The golden rules for combining beer with food are just the same as those used when matching a menu with wine. Time for a brief introduction we thought.

The two archetypal types of dishes: fish, which is fresh and sour, and meat, with its penetrating and mild characteristics, call for two basic beer types: pils and wheat beer for fresh-sour dishes and a dark abbey beer for penetrating-mild dishes.

For a marriage to be successful, the right type of dish must be served with a beer from the appropriate basic beer group: fish dishes and the like with fresh, sour beers, casseroles and similar dishes with mild, dark beers.


Comprimising & Happy Marriages

Pils and blonde abbey beers complement both fish and meat and sometimes compromises will have to be made. Of course, the fresh taste of mussels beerstronomy, beer and foodpairing, belgian beer Pairing with Wilderen Goud
© BeerTourism.com
will go down better with wheat beer than with pils, but if there is no wheat beer available, pils will do very well.

Happy marriages are those in which each party gets something out of the relationship, where the food is improved by the accompanying beer and vice versa.

A dark abbey beer served with mussels is a complete waste of time, as is serving a wheat beer with roast meat.

The basic beer group to accompany fish dishes includes pils(ener), wheat beer, blonde abbey beer or triple and a href="http://belgium.beertourism.com/blog/new-frank-boon-brewing-hall-officially-opened">Gueuze in order of increasing complexity of flavour.

Pils is the least complex in the list but some triples are highly complex.

So when it comes to finding the right beer to accompany fish dishes, ranging for example from mussels and fries to turbot in a cream sauce, care should be taken to ensure that the complexity of the dish matches that of the beer.


Hilaire Spreeuwers, beer and foodpairing, belgian beer Chef Hilaire Spreuwers and his wife Sofie from beer restaurant BitterZoet
© BeerTourism.com


A complex taste cannot be fully appreciated by putting it together with a simple flavour. Complex dishes typically have a variety of ingredients, a complicated method of preparation and require prolonged cooking.

However, there are no automatic pairings. Mussels with fries, in which the fattiness of the fries to some extent masks the finesse of the mussel flavour on the palate, demands lager.

The same mussels served with brown bread, which helps enhance the flavour of the mussels, goes down much better with wheat beer. With turbot in a cream sauce, a strong blond beer is a better choice, but fish dishes with a more pronounced flavour - grilled sardines for example - are best served with a stronger wheat beer.


Recent Blog Posts

Val-Dieu, celebrating 800 years of Belgian beer culture
VAL-DIEU - Those monks certainly picked some beautiful spots for their abbeys. The rumble of the busy motorway lies far behind me as I swap the flat northern Belgian landscape for the gently rolling ... [ read more ]
Belgian beer culture recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage
BRUSSELS - “We have won the World Cup!” exclaims Sven Gatz, Minister of Culture for Flanders. In his former role as Managing Director of the Federation of Belgian Brewers he immediately lent his ... [ read more ]
Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barriques 2016, a touch of wood
CHIMAY/COGNAC - Chimay Bleue stands out as a classic amongst Trappist beers. Nevertheless, its brewer continues to break new ground. The first ‘limited edition’ Chimay Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barri ... [ read more ]
Brussels Beer Challenge 2016: Belgium holds its own in the beer world
BRUSSELS - For the fifth running of the Brussels Beer Challenge the organisers selected a location steeped in history and prestige. After touring from Brussels to Liège, Leuven and Antwerp, ... [ read more ]
The Belgian Beer Book: Tapping into Belgian beer culture
BELGIUM - How do you write an unbiased review of a book that you yourself have written, pouring your entire soul into it? I’ll immediately give up on that impossible task and instead I’ll offer you a ... [ read more ]

Comments



SHARE:
 



BLOG

POSTS
Bush beer pairing at Le Château du Mylord

ELLEZELLES - As many as 34 years ago Jean-Baptiste Thomaes, at the ripe young age of 22, set up the prestigious establishment of Le Château du Mylord in Ellezelles, a village close to Ronse and Oudenaarde. ... [ more ]

Belgian beer and food pairing, what's the deal? (1)

ELLEZELLES - Put several brewers and chefs around the same table, get them to taste a few beers and soon you will have a heated discussion! Jean-Baptiste and Christophe Thomaes of Le Château du ... [ more ]

Belgian beer and food pairing, what's the deal? (2)

ANTWERP - Today, we are meeting up for a second tasting session in this beer and food pairing series at ‘t Zilte restaurant, the proud owner of two Michelin stars, perched high above the Flemish city of Antwerp. ... [ more ]

Pauwel_kwak_beer_bosteels225

More Beer

In the 18th century there was a very well-known brewer in the Dendermonde area; his name was Pauwel Kwak. He brewed his own beer, which was dark and heavy. He also has had a coachi... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.

Name:
Email:
TWITTER
    FACEBOOK