We tapped Matt Barclay of Bierkraft, Brooklyn’s one-stop shop for beer, meat and cheese, to walk us through his favorite antipasti pairings.
Classic Bruschetta & Schönramer Gold
Barclay says a lightly toasted märzen like Schönramer Gold bolsters crunchy crostini, while sweet grains accentuate the bright tomatoes, and complement the lighter side of the onions. Peppery noble hops cut through the pungent garlic as the beer’s sharp finish wraps up dry on the tongue.
Also try: Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen, Spaten Oktoberfestbier
Prosciutto & Hoegaarden
“Pair delicate, thin-sliced cured ham with an equally delicate white ale,” Barclay suggests. Prosciutto’s chewy yet melt-in-your-mouth texture calls for a beer that complements the salt-cured meat without detracting from its quiet sweetness. Hoegaarden’s coriander spice garnishes the ham with sharp herbal notes, while bright lemon and orange flavors tease out some sweetness from behind the meat’s salty profile. Tart wheat and vibrant carbonation help wash down the fat.
Also try: Allagash White, Clown Shoes Clementine
Artichoke Hearts & Helles Schlenkerla Lager
Barclay says the mild smokiness and rich malt character of Schlenkerla’s helles lager makes an incredible statement against artichoke hearts’ briny, earthy qualities. While the beer lays down toasty, smoky malts, the artichoke’s sweet-and-salty vegetal flavors sing above, creating a captivating layered sensation on the tongue. Earthy hops accentuate the pickled vegetable before the beer’s crisp finish washes the buttery artichoke down.
Also try: Spezial Rauchbier Lager, Fort Collins Z Lager
Aged Provolone & St. Bernardus Prior 8
Alone, a dubbel and aged Provolone present an array of bold flavors, but their complementary sweetness makes them a dynamic match. “The beer is big and malty up front, followed by some fruit, and finishes really dry, just like the cheese,” Barclay notes. A bite of sharp Provolone coats the tongue with layers of salt, sweet fruit and nutty undertones; Prior 8 counters with raisin and plum notes, drawing out the cheese’s brighter flavors for an extended run before a dry finish settles in.
Also try: Captain Lawrence St. Vincent’s Dubbel, Westmalle Trappist Dubbel
Sicilian Olives & Baryerischer Bahnhof Leipziger Gose
Sicilian olives explode in the mouth with salty brine, earthiness and sourness—flavors mirrored in gose, says Barclay. Leipziger Gose, a sour ale brewed with salted water and coriander, adds tart notes to already punchy olives, while the briny fruit draws out the beer’s underlying saltiness. The beer’s coriander spice matches the olives’ deep herbal notes. Beneath the eruption of flavors is a fusion of earthy and tart that lasts long on the tongue.
Also try: Upright Gose, Portsmouth Gose