Though wine is often paired with food, it's an uphill battle to convince beer drinkers that it too should be paired with a meal. Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy's No. 43 and host of Beer Sessions Radio on Heritage Radio Network, has based his restaurant model on food and beer pairings, and over the years he has brought in guest chefs to create menus to which beer is paired.
When it comes to choosing a beer to go with food, some pairings seem obvious (raw oysters and Oyster Stout) while others are obviously terrible (caviar with Russian Imperial Stout.) So, which comes first: The food or the beer?
Well, if you’re pairing a chili with a Budweiser, there’s no right or wrong answer. But if you’re a foodie, you’ll want to select beers that complement or balance the flavors in your food—for example, a hopped ale will make a spicy dish more pronounced, whereas a Märzen or Fest beer’s malt profile will balance the effects of a capsaicin-induced hangover. Ultimately, you can choose your pairings based on personal tastes, but here are 15 food-beer pairings that will never disappoint.