A Beer for Every Burger

A Beer for Every Burger

Highlight your beer list and add some interactive fun to your burger menu by suggesting beer and burger pairings. The same philosophy applies when matching beer with food as when pairing wine with food: They should bring out the best qualities in each other, like a happily married couple.

So, make it fun, and play matchmaker for your customers, keeping these rules of thumb in mind:

  • Beer is made up of water, malt, hops and yeast. Beer that's particularly hoppy, or bitter, is best matched with heartier flavoured burgers.
  • Suggest maltier, or sweeter, beers for sweeter flavour profiles. So, a burger basted with a sweet barbecue sauce yearns for a sweet beer, such as a cherry wheat beer.
  • Consider using this analogy: ale is to red wine what lager is to white. Ale generally pairs better with robust flavours while lager complements lighter fare.

Pairing up for the summer

Nothing proclaims summer better than a burger on the plate and beer mug in the hand. Yet, beer can do more than hit the spot on a hot summer day. A well-chosen beer can enliven those layers of flavour captured between the hamburger buns.

Here are recommendations on what styles of beer pair well with different burger recipes:

Mediterranean Burgers
Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, German Pilsner
  • A light-style lager would be lost here due to the complex flavours of this burger, so suggest a pale ale, India pale ale or German pilsner.
  • The hoppiness in these beers stands up to the tang of the vinaigrette and goat cheese, and cleanses the palate after the rich mouthfeel of the Kraft Mayo.
Maui Burgers English/American brown ale
  • A vigorous English or American brown ale is a good match for this hearty burger.
  • These ales are maltier and sweeter than mild ales, and pair well because of a full-body finish.
Shanghai Burgers golden or blonde ale
  • To cool the palate, suggest a golden or blonde ale, or lightly hopped lager.
  • These milder beers lack maltiness and hoppiness, and go down smoothly.
  • They quench the thirst and calm the spiced tongue.
Nuevo Latino Burgers amber ale or medium bodied lager
  • The flavours of the burger are fresh and lively, and pair well with an amber ale or medium-bodied lager.
  • The ale offers a balance of sweet and bitter, and the lager offers a smooth beer with a toasty malt flavour.

Flavour notes:

  • Pale ale (English Bitter, American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale): Medium-body with high hoppy flavour
  • English or American brown ale: Notes of roasted malt, medium-bodied
  • Pilsner (Pale lager): Distinct hoppy flavour
  • Amber ale: Medium body, good balance between hops and malts
  • Lighter-style lager: Crisp, light body, smooth finish
  • Golden or blonde ale: Crisp, dry notes with a sweet finish

The parameters for pairing beer with food are a little more bendable than those demarcating good wine and food matches. In general, the objective in suggesting beers with burgers is to create interest in your beer pours, and also play the role of a thoughtful host.

The most important rule when offering suggestions is that the chosen beer should complement, not overwhelm, the food encouraging the flavours of the food to shine.

Burger Mania

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Beer and Burgers