Beer Hawk’s Beer Sommelier Maggie Cubbler provides ideas for pairing beer styles with a selection of summer foods
Gazpacho paired with Belgian Witbier
Tomatoes are in season across the summer months and make for a perfect gazpacho. Pair it with a citrussy Belgian Witbier. The citrus flavours complement the sweet acidity of the tomatoes, while the soup brings out the spicy classic coriander notes. Examples: Celis White or Blanche de Bruxelles.
Mackerel and Fennel Fishcakes paired with Bohemian Pilsner
Best with unsmoked mackerel so that it doesn’t overwhelm the flavours of the Bohemian Pilsner. The pilsner is easy drinking and comparable in intensity to the fishcake. Traditionally brewed with the Czech Saaz hop, this hop has a citrusy and herbal character that would pair nicely with the fennel and lift the light flavour of the fish. Example: Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils.
Chicken Quesadilla paired with American Pale Ale
Chicken quesadillas stuff with cheese and perhaps black beans, jalapeno salsa and tomatoes need a partner like a balanced American Pale Ale with its citrus or piney hop character. A firm malt base stands up to creamy rich cheese while a balancing bitterness can assert itself through the protein and spice. Example: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Halloumi and Avocado Burger paired with Belgian Tripel
Fried or grilled halloumi is rather salty and a Belgian Tripel with its sweet and spicy character makes for an interesting contrast. Top with some creamy avocado and the deceptively light Belgian Tripel’s dry finish is a great palate cleanser. Examples: Victory Golden Monkey or Chimay White.
Fillet Steak Sandwich paired with Altbier
Thin pieces of grilled fillet steak, slowly grilled find a great partner in an Altbier with its caramelly, nutty malt character and refreshing finish. Medium-bodied with a medium carbonation means it can stand up to the richness of a steak sandwich while not overwhelming it. Examples: Uerige Altbier or Mondo London Alt.
Courgette Fritters paired with Helles Lager
Fried food like courgette fritters begs for lagers. A Helles (sometimes unpasteurized) is a German lager with just a little bit more of a biscuity malt character to it so it doesn’t get overwhelmed by fat or grease. Examples: And Union Unfiltered Lager, Camden Hells
Strawberry and Rocket Salad paired with Hefeweizen
The sweet banana and bubblegum flavour in the beer pairs nicely with the strawberries while the spicy rocket accentuates the clove character in the Hefeweizen. The dry finish of the beer makes for a perfect ending to each bite. Example: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier.
BBQ Pulled Pork paired with English Porter
Bold pulled pork covered in a classic BBQ sauce and cheese needs a robust beer with the body, intensity and finish that can match it. An English Porter with its dark roasty, dark chocolate character is a great pairing. Example: Harviestoun Old Engine Oil.
Beer Hawk supplies the finest craft beers and ales from around the world to both consumers and the trade.