Craft Beer to Complement Your Meal

some beer and something good to eat

These days, when dining at a high-class restaurant, you may find that you are offered more than just the traditional wine list: top chefs are discovering that craft beers also make an ideal accompaniment, and can even add some extra kick to their dishes.

Craft beer is causing a real stir in the restaurant trade. With a huge variety of flavors and types available, high-end restaurants are now producing beer lists alongside their usual wine offerings. So, instead of the standard three types, diners can now choose from various styles of beer, specially selected to go with each course. Now, instead of champagne or a cocktail as an aperitif, fruity, sparkling beers are often being offered as an alternative. One example is “Boon Framboise”, a ruby-red Belgian beer which is cask-conditioned and contains 250 grams of raspberries per liter. This is best served in a long-stemmed glass.

Connoisseurs are now also serving beer more frequently as an accompaniment to their menu. For a long time, beer was seen as a rather uninspiring and basic product, at best treated as an occasional thirst-quencher. Now, more and more top chefs are discovering these luxury beers for themselves. One example is star chef Jörg Sackmann. In his kitchen in Baiersbronn, he enjoys creating dishes based around a special selection of beers, and he is also increasingly using craft beers as an ingredient to enrich his cooking. Sackmann believes that it is crucial for the flavors of the beer and the dish to go well together.

At one event, for example, Sackmann and his team combined succulent pork cheek, served with heirloom carrot varieties and sweet potato jelly, with a bitter and aromatic yet fruity beer called ‘Progusta’ from the Braufactum brewery. For scallops with chicken wings, citrus fruits and risoni noodles, the saison beer ‘Sorachi Ace’ from the American Brooklyn Brewery was served. The hops used in this brew give it an aroma of exotic fruits, like mango, making it the perfect accompaniment for the scallops.

Elsewhere, beers like imperial stouts, with their chocolatey aroma and coffee notes, or barley wines with sweet nuances are also particularly well-suited to be served with exquisite desserts, pralines or a cheese board.

Find out which beer goes with which dish at place2beer at the next drinktec. place2beer, situated in Hall 1 across an area of approx. 500 m2, will be the point of contact for brewers and anyone else with an interest in beer. And there will be plenty on offer: Beer lovers will be able to try beers from across the world and learn about the very latest varieties of hops, malt and yeast used in the products, as they sample the various products on offer. Successful brewers will be on hand to tell their own stories and present their beers at a live tasting session, and start ups will be introducing themselves and presenting their innovative ideas to an international audience for the first time. On top of all this, William Reed Business Media will be organizing presentations and panel discussions on subjects such as food and beer, women and beer, popular styles of beer, packaging and branding, and much more.


Mareike Hasenbeck

Mareike Hasenbeck is a freelance journalist with her own craft beer blog (Feiner Hopfen), she is also a beer sommelier and an international expert for beer sensory certified by the DLG (German Agricultural Society).