Beer Food Pairing Guide

March 12, 2015

It should come as no surprise that we love the outdoors. Union Growler Co. was started as we sat outside discussing great Dallas craft beer and our favorite charities, and we created the polypouch specifically for outdoor lovers, river trips, and Texas summers. Particularly with the upcoming grilling season, we wanted to create a guide that pairs up some of our favorite foods with our favorite styles of beer. So grab your growler, your spice rack, and your favorite food and read on to figure out what goes with what:



We love IPAs because their rich and complex flavors, but that can also make them tricky to pair with foods. Therefore, we recommend pairing IPAs with foods that are just as bold! Traditionally, IPAs went with curry, and for good reason, too: the spiciness of the curry compliments the big flavors of IPAs. Since we’re in Texas, consider pairing IPAs with spicy salsas as well. It really depends on the IPA that you’re drinking, but as a general rule of thumb, think big and bold foods when pairing with IPAs.



Pork chops, sausage, and roast chicken are all great pairings for dunkelweizen, making the dark wheat beer a great choice for outdoor fare. Traditionally, dunkelweizen went with hearty sausage, but an Americanized alternative would be bratwurst in a hot dog bun. Throw some sausage on the grill and enjoy!


Imperial IPA

Ah, the imperial IPA: a beer strong in flavor and big enough to be the perfect fit for Texas staples like beef brisket and chicken-fried steak. The main thing to remember with the big and rich Imperial IPA is that it wants big and rich foods, so cheese lovers could also think about pairing the Imperial IPA with blue cheese as well.


Amber Lager

While not our favorite type of beer, Amber Lager had to be mentioned as it is perfectly paired with the quintessential summertime special: burgers! The relative lightness of amber lagers does not overpower the beef of burgers, enhancing the flavor instead of covering it up. Also consider pairing it with spicy chili.


While everyone has their own preference with beers and food pairings, these are just some classical examples to consider. Experiment with different types of beer, or even better, try marinating meats and vegetables in beer before throwing them on the grill or stove top. Beer is a great tenderizer, especially for meat, and the longer you soak the meat (potentially even overnight). We recommend tenderizing meats with amber ales and brown ales. It is important to remember that tenderizing meat with very intense beers often leads to undesirable tastes in meat, while beers that are too light hardly change the flavor profile at all.

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