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Beer & Food. Celebrating the Seasons & Beer Styles & Food Pairing. When is your birthday?. March – May? June – August? September – November? December – February?. When is your birthday?. March – May: Spring June – August: Summer September – November: Fall

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Beer food

Beer & Food

Celebrating the Seasons


Beer Styles & Food Pairing

When is your birthday
When is your birthday?

  • March – May?

  • June – August?

  • September – November?

  • December – February?

When is your birthday1
When is your birthday?

  • March – May: Spring

  • June – August: Summer

  • September – November: Fall

  • December – February: Winter

Read two great books
Read Two Great Books!

  • A great book on this topic is Stephen Beaumont’s A Taste for Beer

  • Another is Cooking with Beer, by Lucy Saunders

  • Not only do both books cover these topics in detail, the books also contains wonderful recipes

Beaumont s 5 steps
Beaumont’s 5 Steps

  • Try everything your can get your hands on

  • When traveling, look for local beer fare

  • Think about your beer

  • Involve your friends

  • Get informed and stay informed

To drink or to cook
To Drink or To Cook?

  • Don’t go “overboard” with either decision

  • Beer can add distinction to certain dishes

  • Other dishes have no need for beer in the recipe, but a beer on the side might be great

  • When added as an ingredient in a recipe, many sources suggest using the same beer as the beverage choice – but it’s not a rule!

  • Think about pasta with red sauce…

Cooking with beer
Cooking with Beer

  • Hoppy beers add bitterness (lemon juice or vinegar)

  • Malty beers adds sweetness (high sugar root veggies – onion, carrots, shallots)

  • Yeasty beers add bite & tenderizing enzymes (baked goods and batters)

Cooking with beer1
Cooking with Beer

  • Toasty (roasted grain) or smoky beers add the same roasted bitterness as in the taste (some sauces, marinades, or to deglaze)

  • Fruity flavors (Lambic styles, barley wines) can work to plump dried fruits with complementary flavors, to poach fish or to barbecue poultry

Three c s of pairing
Three “C’s” of Pairing

  • Cut: acidity and bitterness of hops often cut through rich flavors (buttery, cheesy)

  • Complement: sweet, malty flavor of some styles can complement sweet dishes (think honey) or caramelized onions

  • Contrast: dark, roasted character will contrast with the briny or salty flavors; refreshing styles contrast with spicy foods

The seasons of beer
The Seasons of Beer

  • So Cal seems to lack seasonality, but only from a weather perspective

  • Seasons are also about attitudes, feelings and memories

  • What do you think of when you hear the word Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?


  • The Season of Bock

  • Maibock - “the bock of May”

  • Bocks pair well with mildly pungent cheese, duck, game,

  • Also Bitters: Extra Special Bitter (ESB), India Pale Ale (IPA), Extra Pale Ale (EPA)

  • Bitters with salmon, meaty fish, red meat, pork, roasted poultry, game, BBQ


  • “Lawn Mower” Beers – “Patio” Beers

  • Light, crisp, clean and refreshing

  • Wheat beers (Belgian Witbier, German weisse or weizen, hefeweizen)

  • Mild and light ales, some Belgian Trappist ales

  • Light lagers, “light” beers, some Vienna-style lager


  • The Bountiful Harvest – lots to choose from

  • Marzen (brewed in March) for Oktoberfest, various bocks and doppelbocks

  • Brown ales, pale ales, strong bitters, India pale ales, red ales, Scotch ale, Belgian reds, German-style altbier, dunkelweizen


  • The Winter Warmers – Fireside Beers

  • Think “Filling & Satisfying”

  • Winter bock styles, strong lagers

  • Stouts, porter, old ale, barley wine, some Belgian ales

  • Also, many breweries produce specialty seasonal beers

  • Typically thick, rich, malty and higher alcohol content

The wine analogy
The Wine Analogy

  • Red = Ale / White = Lager

  • Just like the wine “rule” – it’s made to be broken – more loopholes than the tax code

  • Ale: is the beer full or light bodied?

  • Lager: is the beer full or light bodied?

  • This method is a great place to start, then ponder the “mental season” and the “3 Cs”