Perfect Beer and Food Pairings

While backpacking around South America, I discovered the simple pleasure of enjoying an ice-cold cerveza. Even more so when I moved to Bondi Beach, Sydney in Australia.

Nothing beats a pint under the Sydney sun. But my fun fling with beer was never going to turn into anything serious.   When I returned to UK, it was much easier to cope with the British weather with a glass of Rioja in my hand.

  I’ve always thought that, apart from a few dishes (namely curries) wine reigned supreme as the perfect dinner companion.  

So when I was invited to a beer and food pairing event, celebrating the 350th anniversary of Kronenburg’s first brewery, it proved to be a real education.  

At the event held in Farringdon, London, guests were served chicken goujons with garlic and herb, lamb and harrissa, smoked salmon and croque monsieur – all delicious with a pint!

 “Beer is more food-friendly than wine,” Mark Dredge, beer sommelier and award winning beer and food writer, told me. Even cheese and beer is a very friendly combination.  

“Kronenberg is a premium lager so it has a fine bitterness, it cuts through the richness of cheese and refreshes the palate. Wine can’t do that.

“A lager is also great with garlic and herb chicken. The hops in the beer (hops are flowers from the hop plant which gives beer its vital bitterness) have a nice, herbal quality so it matches up nicely with a well-seasoned chicken."

And forget opening a bottle of wine to drink with your Sunday roast. “A roast dinner has so many flavours going on with the gravy and stuffing, that a strong beer is a much better pairing than wine. I love a strong Belgian beer with a roast."

 And despite the notorious ‘beer belly’ reputation, beer is actually better for your waistline than wine.

 “Beer has less sugar than wine. And glass for glass, has less calories than wine. What gives you a ‘beer belly’ are the pizzas and bad food, that you're eating when you’re drunk!”

So what are Mark’s other top beer and food pairings?

“A strong English Cheddar or Stilton with India Pale Ale.   And I love an oatmeal stout beer such as Samuel Smith with steak, chips and horseradish sauce.

"There are so many varieties of beer you really can’t go wrong, whatever you're eating."


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Guide to the best food and beer pairings.