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TIP OF THE DAY: Pairing Beer With Summer Produce

Grilled Mushrooms & Beer

Elote - Mexican Corn

[1] Grilled mushrooms and grilled pineapple with baby arugula and shaved parmesan. Enjoy the earthy mushrooms with a darker beer: amber lager, porter, or stout (photo courtesy Urban Accents). [2] Corn should be enjoyed with a lighter beer: American lager, German wheat beer or saison. Here’s the recipe for this delicious plate of elote, Mexican corn on the cob (photo courtesy Good Eggs | SF.

 

Last Week was National Farmers Market Week, but all of us should support our local farmers every week. It’s where the season’s freshest local ingredients can be found.

Even in the depths of winter, where there is no fresh produce in our region, we go to buy apple cider, applesauce, baked goods, kimchi, pickles and anything else they make.

The folks at (Let’s Grab a Beer) took the opportunity to pair beer styles with particular types of produce. They selected some summer fruits and vegetables and paired them with beer styles that bring out the flavors in the food.

For your next cook-out or hang-out, try these recommendations and see if you agree.

If you need an explanation of a particular beer style, head to our Beer Glossary.
 
Chile Peppers
Beer Styles: American Lager or IPA.
Pairing Notes: Spicy, hoppy beers are a great choice for chiles, whether served raw in a dish, grilled shishito peppers or roasted poppers (stuffed jalapeños). Lager can help to tame the heat if the dish is too fiery.
 
Corn
Beer Styles: American Lager, German Wheat Beer or Saison.
Pairing Notes: A light and slightly sweet beer will complement each bite of the sweet corn and salty butter. Try it with everything from corn salad to elote, Mexican seasoned corn on the cob.
 
Green Beans
Beer Styles: English Brown Ale or Belgian Wheat Beer (Witbier).
Pairing Notes: Green beans tend to go well with beers that are both malty and sweet like the English Brown Ale. If you prefer your green beans with a citrusy dressing, try a Belgian Wheat Beer instead.
 
Grilled Mushrooms
Beer Styles: Amber Lager, Porter, Stout.
Notes: The roasted flavor of malted barley in these darker beers complements the earthiness of mushrooms. Try them with grilled stuffed mushrooms, or in a portabella salad with feta, this one with goat cheese or a grilled corn salad (no cheese). For a great beer snack or warm-up to dinner, try this Mexican layered salad, great as a beer snack.
 
Melons
Beer Styles: American Light Lager, German Wheat Beer, or Belgian Wheat Beer.
Pairing Notes: The fruity flavors produced by the yeast in German Wheat beers will often match up well with certain melon flavor profiles.

 

 
Spinach
Beer Styles: Belgian Wheat Beer (Witbier) or German Wheat Beer (Weissbier).
Pairing Notes: The lighter style and vibrant and citrusy flavors of wheat beer complement herbaceous greens. Mix greens into a salad with any fruit, accented with a crumbled dry cheese, like feta. Some of our go-to recipes: watermelon and feta salad (or strawberries, or both fruits) and spicy radishes with stone fruit and feta,
 
Strawberries, Raspberries, Chocolate-Dipped Fruit
Beer Styles: American Light Lager, American Stout, Chocolate Stout, Fruit Beer, Imperial Stout, Pale Ale.
Pairing Notes: In addition to fruit beers like lambic and kriek, turn to American beers and ales: American hops impart citrus flavors and aromas to beers. With chocolate-dipped fruits, darker beers with more heavily roasted barley provide great fusion. For a true beer dessert check out this Chocolate Stout Float recipe. You can make it with chocolate stout or Guinness.
 
Tomatoes
Beer Styles:r American Amber Ale, American Lager, IPA.
Pairing Notes: The hoppy flavors of these beers accent the acidity of tomatoes, while their slight sweetness harmonizes with different types of tomato sauces. Here are ways to use summer tomatoes for every meal of the day.
 
BONUS PAIRINGS: CHEESES & NUTS

For a cheese course, snack, or an accent to other recipes, try these pairings:
 
Acidic Cheeses (e.g. Sharp Cheddar)
Beer Styles: American Pale Ale, IPA, Porter.
Pairing Notes: Sharp cheeses are generally more bitter, and thus well suited to the bitterness found in hoppier beers. For some contrast to an acidic cheese, also try porter.
 
Nutty Cheeses (e.g. Gruyère)
Beer Styles: American IPA, Dark Lager, Oktoberfest Ale.
Pairing Notes: For harder cheeses that have a nutty aftertaste, pick a beer that is more barley-forward yet balanced. For contrast, try an American pale ale.
 
Tangy Cheeses (e.g. Goat Cheese)
Beer Styles: American Light Lager, Belgian Wheat Beer.
Pairing Notes: The fruity and citrusy flavors of wheat beers sync up beautifully with tangy cheeses. These bright, carbonated beers are refreshing in warmer weather.
 
Nuts
Beer Styles: Amber Lager, English Brown Ale.
Pairing Notes: For nuts that are both salted and roasted, go with a darker beer that has some complementary roasted barley flavors. These two styles also have a refreshingly crisp finish.
 
Now, put some pairings together to see what you like best.

 

Honeydew & Cucumber Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Strawberries & Balsamic Vinegar

[1] Melon dishes like this honeydew and cucumber salad are delicious with wheat beer and light lagers (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [2] The best tomatoes of the summer—heirloom tomatoes—are splendid with an American ale, lager or IPA. [3] A classic Italian dessert, strawberries with a balsamic drizzle (and optional shaved Parmesan) pair best with citrussy beers and dark beers. Here, the berries are served with raw sugar and lemon zest for dipping (photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

 

  




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