Fall Food and Beer Pairings.
Beer is the new wine. Especially when it comes to menu pairings, with Fall just around the corner, your beer offerings should include maltier, darker, and heavier beers, along with some seasonal offerings. As the seasons change so do your beers and, often, so does the food you offer in your location. Here we’ll discuss which foods to pair with which fall beers, as well as which beers to pair with some of the more common Autumn cuisine.
Fall Beer Pairings
What are called Oktoberfest beers in the USA are actually called märzen beer in Bavaria where they originated. The flavor profile of a märzen beer is malty and full bodied with a slight spiciness. They’re often slightly dry, and the spiciness comes from the herbs and spices associated with these times of year. These styles of beer pair excellently with hearty, spicy foods. Their slight hop edge means they pair well with juicy red meats. Being Bavarian they pair exceptionally well with pork. Pork cooked almost any way you like, grilled, fried, or roasted will all pair well with an Oktoberfest style beer.
Porters and Stouts
Both of these beers use darker malts to make their mash. These malts give the beers rich chocolate, coffee, nutty, malty, and toasty flavors. Porters have a light hop to them making them crisper and lighter. Stouts are traditionally creamier and heavier. The extra hops in Porters pair excellently with chard, dark meats and the rich flavors brought forth by the charring of said meats. Stouts also pair well with dark meats, but here you’ll be looking for lighter dark meats that will match well with the sweetness found in stouts.
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Mexican, Cajun, and BBQ are foods which surprisingly pair exceptionally well with these beers. The hoppiness on the porter cuts through the rich, often grilled and heavily seasoned meats, found in these dishes. Whilst the sweetness and creaminess of stouts stand up to, and excellently contrast, the spiciness of these dishes.
Fall Food Pairings
It is much more common during the fall to roast foods, producing rich, hearty flavorful foods that pair well with beer. If you’re roasting dark meats, double IPA’s pair exceptionally well with the rich, fattiness of the meat, cutting through the richness and refreshing the palate for the next bite. Dubbels, strong brown beers, also match perfectly with the textures and flavors of all roasted meats and vegetables, especially if the skin on your poultry or vegetables has turned that beautiful golden brown. The beers mentioned in the “Fall Beers” section above pair excellently with roasted foods; especially red meats.
Chicken and other poultry dishes gain more and more popularity in the fall, especially in their oven cooked forms. Amber beers pair well with all types of chicken, and sweet brown ales pair excellent with fried chicken, especially the spicier kind!
We couldn’t talk fall flavors without mentioning pumpkin, and whilst pumpkin beers are often hard to pair with food, pumpkin pie has many a different possible beer pairings which can bring out all the different elements of this delectable dish. Firstly, pumpkin beers pair exceptionally well with pumpkin pie; for obvious reasons! Next there’re creamy stouts, which bring out the texture of the pie itself, and also match the sweetness of the pie excellently. Hefeweizen style beers also pair charmingly with pumpkin pie, the subtle spice flavors brought out of the beer by the yeast dance beautifully with the spices used in the pie.