Pairing beer doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While we’ve spent tons of articles talking to you about the various brewing methods, how those methods affect flavors, the types of ingredients that come together to make a beer and more to determine their flavor profile. In our most recent blog, we finally began discussing how to understand bringing food into the mix. Below, we’ll talk about styling, and how that affects the palette after the beer and what generally goes together well, and what is best avoided.
Complement and Cleanse Your Palette
While contrasting flavors works, it can only work with strong, very individualistic flavors. There can’t be many intricacies in the dish for the beer to work with a contrast pairing, because you can only really contrast two things effectively. Complementing flavors is much easier. It’s simple; for example, you can match heavy, rich beers with rich foods like the Germans do at Oktoberfest. To apply that line of thought to Tex Mex cuisine, try a malty, thick amber ale with Maudie’s Tamales El Jefe. The thickness and elevated level of carbonation within the beer will match wonderfully with the rich flavor of the pork and the chile con carne. Another excellent example of complementing flavors is pairing fish with light, unimposing beers. A lager, for example, will pair wonderfully with fish tacos and shrimp dishes at Maudies. When you’re ordering the second beer, it’s important to think of cleansing the palette. If you’re enjoying anything spicy, order a very refreshing light colored ale to refresh your tongue for each bite so that the flavor is new and exciting every time.
Keep Your Flavors in Check
When you’re ordering beer at a Tex Mex restaurant, it’s always important to remember that you don’t want to overpower your palate with all of the flavors. In some respects, a dark, rich beer might overpower the flavors of a dish, but you’ll be hard pressed to do that at Maudie’s Tex Mex since all of our food has a variety of very powerful flavors. You might find that the flavor of the beer is overpowered by the food itself, the key here is balance. If you can deduce how to balance the richness of your food and beer, you’ll be able to pair them like a champ.
Pair Based on Style
You don’t buy a pair of Doc Martins if you aren’t aiming to pair it with something of the same style. Likewise, you shouldn’t order a beer before the appetizer if you’re not looking to pair your beer by style either. While there are many types of beer and saying that one food definitely pairs with a certain type of ale is narrow-minded.However these vague guidelines can easily point you in the right direction when making a decision. In general, you should pair light lagers with spicy foods, rich burgers and salads. Wheat beers or “German-style beers” pair well with fruity elements in dishes and spicy food because of their mild, yet refreshing taste. IPAs are famously paired with Mexican foods and Tex Mex because of their varied levels of bitterness and their ability to combat strong flavors. We like it with steak and pork dishes from our menu specifically. Amber ales pair well with pork dishes and dark lagers are best with soups and hearty stews like chile con carne. We like brown ales with fish and sausage and porters with seafood of any kind. Stouts, however, take the cake when pairing with Tex Mex, their rich flavors balance the flavorful Tex Mex dishes like no other.
Come grab a cold stout to celebrate fall and pair it with one of our amazing burritos or enchiladas today. Interested in having Tex Mex for your next event? Inquire about our catering options here.