Posted on June 3rd, 2010
As the summer season rolls in now is the perfect time to get together with your friends and family and enjoy some good food and good brews. Hopefully everyone had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend with plenty of beer and barbecue. Barbecue is of course a great meal that goes great with beer, but it’s not the only one. As we’ve discussed before beer goes great with all sorts of food. One of the best ways to learn tasty new food and beer combinations is to have a beer potluck dinner. Just follow our three step guide to hosting one.
Step One: Everyone brings a dish and a beer that goes great with it. A basic idea to keep in mind when pairing food and beers is to keep the intensity of the food flavors consistent with the intensity of the beer flavors. If you’re having trouble coming up with a beer to go with your favorite dish, take a look at our introduction to beer and food pairing.
Step Two: Take turns trying the different beer/food combinations. It’s a good idea to start with the lighter fare and work your way towards darker and heavy food/brews. This will keep more delicate flavors from being overshadowed and buy the bolder selections. Also be sure that between each round you rinse out your mouth with a bit of water, this will ensure you are coming to each beer with a fresh palate.
Step Three: Talk about each pairing. Which ones worked? Which ones didn’t? Which did you like and what surprised you? Although there are many guiding principles to pairing food and beer, in the end there are no rules or “right” and “wrong” way to pair beers. The best pairing for a food is the one you like best. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. That being said, you can still learn a lot from hearing what others thought of the same combos you’ve tried. You may even learn to like something you didn’t before. Above all else keep an open mind.