More often than not, wine takes center stage in the kitchen. Classic dishes, like coq au vin, scampi, and chicken Marsala, wouldn’t be the same without the balance of acidity and sweetness, the taste of dark red fruit, light citrus notes, and more depending on the style of wine you choose. Same goes for beer.
The Germans, Irish, and Bohemians all have a long history with brewing beer and it is reflected in their cuisine. Beer-braised meats, stewed vegetables, and the undeniably delicious pairing of beer and cheese have all made their way into the mainstream.
Dark stouts cook down to reveal hints of roasted barley, coffee, chocolate, and rich vanilla flavors making these beers ideal for smoky chili, braising meat for hearty stews, and even combatting overly sweet desserts. Dark beer pairs well with chocolate, coffee, and other strong flavors.
Brown ales are lightly hoppy with a lot of brown malt making them on the sweeter side with just a moderate bitterness. Use brown ales in classic barbecue sauces or combined with apple-cider vinegar for a flavorful mop to keep ribs juicy while they cook.
For Texas-style barbecue, beer cheese, or adding some flavor to potato soups, pale ales are the perfect fit. Pale ales are made with light malt producing their “pale” color. They are rarely hoppy, but do have a characteristic bitterness that lends a fair amount of acidity to dishes.
For more ideas on how to cook with beer, check out these 14 recipes that expertly incorporate stout, amber ale, IPA, and more.