Posts Tagged ‘pairings’

The Problem With Pairings

Monday, June 15th, 2009

y184712090678101I was dinking around on the beer sommelier site from Great Brewers the other night. It’s an interesting program, but not the first of it’s kind. Beer sommelier is a website where you pick a food, and it pairs the food with a beer. This isn’t really new so I’m not sure why people are going gaga over it. Back at the beginning of this blog I stumbled on a couple of these sites and thought about doing a post on them.

Sites like beer sommelier all have the same short comings. They are designed for people who really don’t get beer. They pair the beers based specifically on style. Having spicy food? Drink an IPA. These kind of pairings don’t explore the depth of beer nor the potential that your beer has to really pop with your food. Think about it for a second. What would go better with your smoked chorizo dish? A generic of the shelf IPA? What about a nice RIPA with that spicy note from the rye? or how about a ESB with a hint of smokiness? See what I mean?

This is exactly why I don’t like it when people recommend pairings. First of all they do it with a generic hand. “I’d recommend this beer with a nice pot roast.” Well good for you. Chances are though I probably make my pot roast different then you and the flavor profiles will be off. Secondly people who pair are assuming you have the same tastes. What if I don’t like the particular beer you offered for pairings? Or better yet what if there’s one particular beer I’ve really been wanting to try, but you say it wouldn’t go? What it comes down to is that my pallet, mood, and the beer/food selection at hand should determine what I pair my beer with. A pairing guide is a nice launch point, but it really limits you.

The Perfect Pairing

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

My article on some creative pairings was published today at Porsche Perfect. If you want to skip my rant about pairing and go straight to the article then click here.


One thing I’m adamant about is not turning this blog into another beer rating/beer pairing thing. There are plenty of people out there who will gladly spend what feels like hours describing the flavor profile of a single beer. They will go on and on about obscure notes while trying to think up abject ways to express what they’re tasting. They will go on about a bold IPA that has toffee and pine flavors and is a bit “cheeky” on the back of the tongue. They’ll use words like rogue, or catty to describe hop profiles. This crap doesn’t help anyone really. Taste is subjective.

The fact that taste is subjective is also why I don’t do pairings. I think beer is meant to be enjoyed, with or without food. It shouldn’t matter if I pair my Summer Steam Style Ale with a burger or with something a little classier. I always found it silly when wine snobs went on about pairings either with food or cheese. Sure some beverages will bring out the flavors in certain foods, but if people aren’t tasting the same flavors then what good is you telling them what to drink with their meal? While I’m on the topic. What is it with beer and cheese pairings? I just don’t get it.

So anyway all that ranting to say I wrote a pairing guide the other day for the PorschePerfect blog. Instead of pairing beer with food though I thought it would be fun to pair it with cars. Check out the article here.

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