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01 Oct 2015
5. Food Pairing Tips

Food Pairing Tips

Craft beer is claiming its rightful place at your dinner table as more people discover the wide-ranging flavour profile that craft beer has to offer. Enhance your dining experiences by finding that perfect beer to accompany your meal.

There are no hard rules of pairing food and beer, other than to drink what you enjoy for the occasion. What's important is to seek out beers that either complement, cut or contrast flavours with your meal. Here are a few tips on finding the right craft beer flavour profile that matches your cooking:

Light beers such as lager or wheat beers have crisp, smooth and refreshing flavour which will make light foods such as green salads, sushi or sashimi taste even fresher.
Delicious with local dishes such as: fried hokkien mee, steamed fish head, prata, or curry puff.


Malty beers such as amber ale and most English ales have caramel flavours from the malt. They complement well food items that are caramelized during cooking such as lasagne, pizza or roasted meats. The richness in the beer also works well with stews. 
Delicious with local dishes such as: Char kway teow, bak kwa, black carrot cake, and mee goreng.


Hoppy beers such as pale ales and India pale ale (IPA)s have floral or fruity bitterness from the blend of hops. They match extremely well with spicy local food such as curry, chilli dishes, spicy Mexican or Szechuan dishes. The bitterness cuts through the spiciness, resulting in a balanced flavour that lessens the overpowering impact of each other.
Delicious with local dishes such as: sambal stingray, fish head curry, laksa, chilli crab, mee siam, chicken rice (with chilli) or nasi briyani.


Roasty beers such as brown ale have roasted, almost chocolaty flavour profile, hence they go well with grilled, barbecued or smoked meat, hamburgers or sausages.
Delicious with local dishes such as: satay, BBQ chicken wings, or popiah (because of the nutty flavour) and kway chap.


Stout and porter have characteristic coffee-like flavours. They are great with chocolate cake or creamy desserts. A must-try is oyster and stout, a match made in heaven.
Delicious with local dishes such as: oyster omelette, rojak and kaya toast.



  • For a delicious aperitif, choose a light beer to serve before a meal.
  • Lambic fruit beers or barley wines can be excellent digestif, with or without dessert.
  • Like with wine, soups are notoriously difficult to pair with beer. 

Bon appétit and cheers!

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