Wine and food pairings get a lot of attention, but wine isn't the only drink that can enhance a meal when the right variety is properly paired with the right dishes. Beer can also be a great accompaniment, and knowing how to successfully pair beer and food is a skill that will definitely impress when you show it off at dinner parties. Take a look at some tips for great beer and food pairings that will definitely help augment your meals:

Ales and Lagers Are Comparable to Reds and Whites

If you're more comfortable with wine pairings than beer pairings, you can use the information that you have about wine to help you make good decisions about your beer pairings.

For example, if you're serving red meat, you probably would do best with a pale ale. A dark ale is great for cutting through and balancing dishes that are high in fats and oils, like duck or pork. Lagers, on the other hand, go well with seafood and rice or other grains.

Distinguish Between Hoppy and Malty Beers

Are you going to serve light foods with bright flavors, like spring salads or citrus fruit? In that case, you want a beer that's heavy on the hops. The grassy notes of a hoppy beer will blend well with these types of foods.

On the other hand, more savory flavors like pot roast go well with the rich flavor of a malt-heavy beer.

Consider the Season

If you want something other than eggnog to warm up your guests at a winter holiday gathering, a heavy porter can be a perfect choice. If you're looking to cool everyone down in the middle of a heatwave, you're better off with a wheat beer or an IPA.

Don't be afraid to experiment with seasonal flavors as well. Pumpkin ale in the fall or cucumber watermelon beer in the summer could be the surprise hit of the season. These beers are generally brewed fresh for the season, which can give them a more nuanced flavoring. They'll also pair well with the kinds of foods that you usually serve during those seasons.

Save the Sweet Beers for Dessert

Beer can be served with sweet foods, but not just any beer will do for dessert. Too much sugar can overwhelm the flavors of a beer that isn't equally sweet. But sweet beers can perfectly complement sweeter foods.

If you're serving ice cream or crème Brulee, a Belgian fruit lambic beer may be the perfect match. Chocolate goes well with a Baltic porter or a German bock.

Don't be afraid to experiment a little. Everyone's tastes are different, but if you find a combination that you like, chances are that others will like it too. For more information and assistance, contact a company like HWC