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Food and Beer Pairings: Top 8 Menu Ideas and Tips to Create Your Own

Food And Beer Pairing

Since forever, we’ve been pairing wine with good food. Each wine tastes better with a different type of food. We’ve evolved from wine pairing to beer pairing for us beer lovers. And like with wine, each beer tastes better with a different type of food. The tastes need to complement each other to get the full extent of the wonder. Pairing beers with food can be fun, and it allows you to be creative.

Whether you run a restaurant, or you want a tasty dinner with your beer, you’ve landed on this page for the right reasons.

We’re going to share our tips to create your own pairings. And we’re going to share our top 8 menu ideas. We’ll share an entire meal for different types of beer.

Ultimate Food and Beer Pairings

food and beer pairings

(According to America’s Beer Distributors)

Type of BeerBest PairingInformation
Brown AleGrilled chicken or smoked sausageExhibits nutty or woody flavors
that compliment
the grilled
taste of certain meats.
BockLamb or dessertsSweetness in the Bock
beer is close to the taste of toffee.
Some have a toasted malt flavor,
which is complimentary to lamb.
LagerFish or curry dishesLight, clean taste, which
pairs well with strong tastes in food.
LambicButtery fruit pastriesUsually has a dry, light, and fruity aroma.
Pale AlePizza, soup, or saladCommon in restaurants for its wide range in food pairings.
PorterStrong cheeses or smoked foodsSharp, slightly bitter taste that has distinct pairings.
StoutShellfish or meat dishesIntense flavor with hints of roasted coffee aroma.

Top 8 Beer Pairing Menu Ideas

We decided to put together our favorite meal ideas for some other types of beer. These are great dishes to add to your pairing menu. There’s a little bit of everything.

Some recipes are also available online that are specific to beer pairings. Try learning some of the recipes from this – Perfect Beer Pairing for 12 Summer Recipes – article.

Light Ale

  • Roasted Lamb Chops and Garlic
  • Farro Salad
  • Bread Pudding

Amber Ale

  • Roasted Jerk Chicken
  • Caribbean Rice and Mango Salsa
  • Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

India Pale Ale (IPA)

  • Beef and Bean Burrito
  • Fiesta Avocado Salad
  • Carrot Cake

Dark Ale

  • Barbecue Pork Ribs
  • Chickpea Salad
  • Pumpkin Pie

Light Lager

  • Spicy Thai Noodles
  • Red Curry Green Beans Thai Pad Prik King
  • Mini Thai Lime Pies

Amber Lager

  • Tomato Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta
  • Balsamic Bruschetta
  • Molten Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

Dark Lager

  • British Beef Stew
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Glazed English Toffee Cake


  • Garden Vegetable Soup
  • Tossed Garden Salad
  • Steamed Orange Pudding

How to Create Your Own Beer Pairing Menu

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So, you want to create a beer pairing menu and go beyond our menu ideas. That’s awesome, and we approve.

And we have the right tips for each beer to help you create that perfect pairing menu.

Light Ale Food Pairings

Light ales have a light and crisp taste. These light ales leave a refreshing and bubbly feeling as it goes down.

They’re light brews, and they have earthy undertones. Since they’re light to drink, they match with heavy foods.

Burgers, duck, lamb, pork, and turkey are all perfect meat matches with light ales. Grains like farro or wild rice work as nice side dishes.

Amber Ale Food Pairings

The name of amber ale is self-explanatory. It has a beautiful, rich amber coloring. They are more malt than hops with a subtle hint of sweetness. They have the perfect balance of taste.

And amber ale feels smooth as it goes down your throat.

Amber ales pair well with pork products or spicy food. They also taste great with different cheeses.

India Pale Ale Food Pairings

This amber-colored beer has a strong bitter hops taste to it. It’s hard to find the right pairing with an India pale ale.

To calm down the bitterness, most brewers add spices or citrus to the beer. And each added ingredient can mean a change in taste.

But some foods go with any IPA beer. Sausage and pork tenderloins are great meat options for a good pairing.

Junk food also matches with IPA beer. This can include burritos, french fries, and pizza. Pretty much all the food you love when you’re wasted.

Dark Ale Food Pairings

The darker the ale, the sweeter the taste. There are always subtle hints of chocolate or even coffee. This sweet taste balances out the bitterness from the hops.

There’s often a nutty aftertaste too.

Dark ales can go with about any food. But the best pairings are with pig meats and fish.

Beans and legumes well with brown ales. Use them in as a side to your meat dishes.

Light Lager Food Pairings

Light lagers are a pale light color. They’re almost translucent. And they have a light and balanced taste. They’re not too bitter, and they’re not too sweet.

Spicy food is the best pairing with light lagers. But you can also pair them with pasta without creamy sauces.

Light vegetables are a great addition to your light lager.

Amber Lager Food Pairings

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Amber Lager is a pretty balanced brew. There are enough hops for the right amount of kick. And there’s the right amount of sweetness from the malt. It doesn’t overtake the other flavors.

And it has that full roasted taste.

Amber lager pairs with pasta and tomato-based sauces. Basil and oregano spices taste great with this type of lager.

Dark Lager Food Pairings

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They make dark lagers with roasted malt, which helps give them their dark color and their taste.

And there’s also a sweet taste coming from the caramel sauce added into the beer.

Dark lagers are transformative when drinking them with heavy foods. These heavy foods can include beef stew, burgers, chili, and goulash.

But they also pair with grilled vegetables like onions, mushrooms, and peppers.

Wheat Beer Food Pairings

Food pairing with wheat beer is a little different. They’re made with barley and wheat. Since the wheat doesn’t taste, brewers often add spices and fruits for extra flavoring.

But since they’re made of wheat, they’re a bit heavier on your stomach. So, you want to stick to lighter foods to pair with this kind of beer.

Great light foods to pair with it are light soups, salads, and light vegetarian meals. Believe it or not, but sushi also pairs well with wheat beer.


It doesn’t matter what type of beer you serve, or you love, there is the perfect food pairing out there.

Citrus beers pop with other fruity flavors. Heavy beers should be paired with lighter foods.

But don’t be afraid to go outside the norms of beer and food pairing. Try out different flavors with your beer and see what stands out to you. Also, learn about the importance of different beer glasses and how they help bring out the taste. You aren’t limited to this guide, but we sure hope it helps you get started.

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