Beer. It’s an iconic beverage that may date back as many as 18,000 years, according to archaeologists. Making beer has evolved a lot since then. However, it wasn’t until recently that the industry took on a crafty new spin—fermenting small, independent brewers all over the continent and abroad.
These new brewmasters are tantalizing our palates with a bevy of significant and interesting craft beers to which they’re adding unique flavours ranging from cinnamon, coffee, and chocolate to citrus zest and berries. Flavour-enhanced beers are opening up new interest and new markets.
Local restaurants are embracing these flavourful brews on tap and pairing them with inventive dishes that are often spiked with the same brew. For those who don’t imbibe, don’t worry. The alcohol is cooked off, but what remains is a flavour profile unique to the recipe.
Here, we’ve developed our own delicious recipes using some of the most flavourful craft beers in our market. Feel free to experiment with your own favourite pours. Spiking your creations with flavour profiles from unique craft beers not only gives your recipe depth, but it also offers the chef an opportunity to quaff what’s left in the bottle while cooking.
Beer and food chart
Choosing the right beer to quaff with your meal or for infusing your recipes has become a lot more detailed in this decade of proliferating microbreweries, nanobreweries, and brew pubs, all with their own unique brews. Here, we’ve provided a simple chart listing a few basic beers with their individual tasting notes and food pairing suggestions. As the world of beer continues to evolve, so too will your options.
|Beer||Taste notes||Food pairings|
|Belgian witbier||unfiltered and light with hints of orange, citrus, and coriander||light seafood and salad dishes; gentle fruit salad dressings|
|blonde ale||mild malted flavour that balances a medium hop flavour||complements Asian foods including hot, spicy, and some sweet additions such as mango|
|light lager||refreshingly crisp||delicious with flavourful Asian ingredients such as lemongrass, cilantro, ginger, and garlic|
|hefeweizen||a bit cloudy with a defined yeast overtone and hints of cloves and banana||balances ingredients in recipes with mustard, pickles, and horseradish|
|pale ale||spicy and earthy chased with some bitter hops||works well with smoky-flavoured foods or strong cheeses|
|IPA (India pale ale)||definite hoppy flavour throughout||great with spiced foods such as curries, Moroccan foods, and even some desserts such as deep and fudgy rich chocolate cakes|
|amber lager||sweet malted notes with hops balancing throughout||think Italian: delicious with certain reduction sauces such as tomato with balsamic, basil, and oregano|
|amber ale||smooth caramel notes with a hint of citrus and bitter hops||anything grilled and spicy|
|brown ale||malted flavours with caramel and toffee and some chocolate||consider hearty foods and Indonesian dishes with peanut sauces|
|porter||dark malted beer with chocolate notes and mild roast coffee||smoked foods; especially pairs well with chocolate/espresso desserts or creamy cheeses|
|stout||dark and heavy; chocolate, coffee, and molasses flavours||caramelized dishes, brown savoury mains, as well as salty foods|
Grilled Tuna with Orange, Fennel, and Citrus Beer Dressing
Honeyed BBQ Chicken Kebabs
Falafel Sliders with Smoky Tomato Sauce
Harissa Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup
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