Complementary or contrasting?

The next step in this process is to start identifying the flavors and characteristics of the food or beer that you are trying to pair. If you’re planning on serving a Creamy Shrimp Fettucine at an upcoming dinner party and want to find a beer or two to pair with it, make some notes on the dish’s flavor profiles. Not only is it rich on account of the cream and cheese, but the onions and garlic impart caramelized notes as well. If you’re looking for a contrasting choice, a bitter and citrusy pale ale will work to cut through the richness of the dish. On the other hand, the nutty, roasted notes of a porter will accentuate the mouthfeel of the creamy sauce and highlight the caramelized flavors of the onions and garlic.

And of course, you can work the other way as well. For example, if you have a Belgian White Wheat that you’re looking to pair with food, identify its unique flavor profiles: for example medium body, refreshing, fruit-forward, and clove notes. As a complementary pairing, you can find a dish that has some brightness and high acidity, such as a butter lettuce salad with citrus vinaigrette and goat cheese. Conversely, a savory and briney dish featuring oysters or sardines would be a fabulous contrast to the fruitiness of the beer.

Coming up next, we’ll feature some of our favorite pairings of Stockholm’s entrees and Stockholm’s handcrafted beer. We’ll also invite you to show us some of your favorites, too. There might even be some prizes involved. See you soon!