Most people know that wine pairs with certain types of food and cheese, but did you know that you can also pair food with beer to enhance the flavor of both? In fact, there is a restaurant industry for it already brewing. One of the closest ones to us is Cobblestone’s Gastropub and Sports Complex in downtown York, PA. It boasts “high end craft beer and fine food.”

Cobblestones is just one of many Gastropub’s popping up. Since this is becoming a popular new trend, we thought we’d go ahead and give you a few basics of beer and food pairings.

IPA – When choosing a craft beer, many people go with an India Pale Ale, or an IPA. The alcohol content of an IPA is somewhat mild which makes it a good beer to pair with food. Generally when pairing with an IPA, it is good to go with spicy or bold foods since they can counteract some of the bitterness of a typical American IPA. Curry is one of the more classic foods to pair with an IPA but since hot wings are the typical bar food, they can also be a great choice. Don’t skip on the blue cheese for the wings, either, as this will also help to compliment the flavor of the IPA. Examples: 60 Minute IPA, Lagunitas IPA

Classic Pilsener – Since this beer is light in both color and flavor, it is a great beer to pair with light fair. In order for the beer to retain its flavor and integrity, it is important to pair it with something that will compliment it, but not outdo it. Some of the best pairings for the Pilsener are chicken, fish, and salads. If you are going to go with one of the meats, do not overdo it with a spicy rub, but keep it light and simple by making lemon chicken or something similar. When sprinkling cheese, try something like Vermont cheddar. Examples: Blue Paddle, Budweiser Budvar (Czechvar)

Porter – The porter is a dark, complex beer with a roasted quality to it. The best types of food to pair with a porter are foods that have similar qualities. For example, barbecue and roasted meat will compliment the flavor. When choosing meat to go with a porter, go for something a little heavier, such as beef. Though the beer is not overwhelming in the flavor category, it generally has complex and varied flavors that are easiest to bring out with a stronger food. Examples: Samuel Adams Honey Porter, Coffeehouse Porter

These are just a few examples of the different beer and food pairings. The possibilities are vast and growing as the popularity of craft beer grows. If you’re bartending, pairing food with beer is an awesome way to drive sales and help crowd control. Encourage your guests to try new pairings to get that perfect beer to food ratio.

Here at the Maryland Bartending Academy, we offer you one free bartending class so you can see what we’re all about. We have an open door policy with no obligation to enroll. And each of our instructors has years of bartending experience and knows the industry well. If you still need to know more, you can always request additional information.


If you have any questions about Bartending or wish to register for an upcoming class, please contact the Maryland Bartending Academy by calling 410-787-0020 or visit today!

Maryland Bartending Academy is not only Maryland’s oldest bartending school, but we also offer the most comprehensive curriculum around. We will have you ready for your new career in two weeks and then we will help you find bartender jobs around Maryland and DC! We have trained and placed thousands and thousands of bartenders into some of the busiest bars throughout not only Maryland and DC, but also the entire nation.

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