How to Pair Your Craft Beer With the Perfect Meal

How to Pair Your Craft Beer With the Perfect Meal

03 Jun 2021

by The Craft Beer Lover

There are hundreds of varieties of craft beer available to you, and knowing which one to pair with what meal can be intimidating.

If you want to enhance your craft beer experience, here are a few perfect beer and meal pairings you'll want to try. 

Light Lagers

These refreshing beers may be light in color and have a subtle flavor. A light lager is easy to drink and is light-bodied. These characteristics make a light lager the perfect beer to pair with a burger, salad, and even spicy foods. Due to their refreshing elements, you really can't go wrong with drinking a light lager with any meal. 

India Pale Ales (IPAs)

IPAs are known to have a solid and hoppy flavor. The unique flavors of IPAs make it more challenging to find the perfect food pairing. With most IPAs, a juicy steak or other bar food like mozzarella sticks and French fries will go very well with your favorite beer. 


Wheat beers are similar to light lagers. They're very light and carbonated, making them an excellent beer for pretty much any dish. If you love spicy chicken wings, wheat beer is an excellent choice to wash your meal down. They're also really delicious with pastries and fruit. 

Dark Lagers

The roasted malt flavor of dark lagers makes it the perfect craft beer to enjoy while dining on burgers and pizza. Dark lagers are wildly drunk in Europe, so traditional European dishes go really well with dark lagers too.

Amber Ales

If you're in the mood for barbequed chicken, brisket, or pork, you'll want to grab an amber ale to drink. The flavor profile of many amber ales includes malts and a subtle sweetness that pairs almost perfectly with delicious barbecue sauce. 


Porters are dark and full-bodied beers that go well with a variety of dishes. These beers go well with Mexican cuisine, barbecue, as well as lobster and crab. Drinking a porter with lobster or crab may seem out of the left-field, but don't knock it until you try it. 

Brown Ales

Many people enjoy brown ales because they're less hoppy than other darker beers. They have a lot of similarities to porters and stouts. Brown ales also pair well with barbecue and certain seafood like sushi and most fish. 


Stouts are the perfect dessert beer. While these are some of the darkest craft beers, their alcohol content is pretty low. Stouts pair well with everything chocolate. You'll want to try them with chocolate truffles or mousse. Stouts don't only pair well with dessert. They're delicious with shellfish and barbecue dishes too. 

While certain craft beers do pair better with certain dishes due to complementary flavor profiles, there are no rules. You can drink whatever type of beer you want with whatever type of food you want. But if you're interested in seeing how well a certain beer pairs with a specific dish, you can follow this guide next time you have a beer and order food.