Beer with Shellfish

Posted by BeerMaven | Food & Beer | Posted on May 23rd

When choosing a beer to compliment, cut or contrast your dessert, I recommend starting with the beer first and then deciding on the dessert to match your beer. When enjoying a dessert mainly made with fruit, a light lager is best suited to bring out the fruity flavor. Chocolate desserts pair far better with stouts such as a milk stout, chocolate stout or Imperial stout. The richer desserts, like cream pies or cheese cakes, will pair well with medium bodied pale ales and lagers.

Beer and desserts are often favorites on most people’s lists of food and beverage but few people have given a combination of the two a second thought. And why not? The answer is that lagers have taken over the beer world since the 19th century and most people are unaware of the deeper and more complex beers that not only pair well with desserts, but are useful in creating them as well.

Berry pancakes and wheat beers complement one another due to the biscuit like flavors in both the pancakes and the wheat beer. Cheesecake is a heavy dessert and is enjoyed mostly with coffee. Keeping that in mind, a kriek would complement the cheese cake and draw out zesty undertones. Apple crumble pie is a sweet and flavorful dessert that should definitely be accompanied by a cider— the sweetness of the apple in the pie and the dry ciders contrast one another, allowing the palate to fully enjoy every bite.

On the other hand, chocolate and porters can find their way into your dessert menu as compliments to dessert, or dessert itself. Chocolate brownies or mousse make a perfect match with porters and stouts. Their creamy combinations explode your senses and the light carbonation of the stouts and porters lift the denseness of the dessert and draw out the richness in flavor.

Beer can be surprisingly used in the creation of a dessert, and there are many ways to combine the flavors of beer with your dessert. Using a stout to poach apples, for example, would bring out their sweetness and using cider or a milk stout in a batter as opposed to milk or water will add a more subtle flavor to your puddings. Double chocolate stouts are wonderful ingredients for chocolate truffles and really bring out the character of the dark chocolate in the recipe.

Try to think of your own beer and dessert pairings. There is a vast world of beer out there and as you experiment with things you will find that it becomes extremely easy to match beer with food once you have discovered your own tastes.

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