Pairing Guidelines
In the world of beer, there are no rules carved in stone, such as "White wine, white fish" or "Red wine, red meat." Since beer is almost as varied as food, the number of combinations is limitless. Nonetheless, there are beers that compliment food better than others. Due to the numerous differing characteristics of beer, it is possible to find a beer that will enhance any of your food experiences.
The most important thing about matching beer with food is balance.
The hoppier the beer, the heartier the meal should be. If the IBU of the beer is high, then you will taste less. This is because bitterness temporarily dulls taste buds. Thus, never start a meal with a very bitter beer.
Hoppier beer emphasises spiciness in hot foods.
It is the carbonation of the beer that cleanses the tongue's palate. Beer cleans the palate after a bite of heavy mouth-coating food. Therefore, if a sip of beer is had after every mouth full, each bite will be as flavorful as the first.
Some suggest to pick beers that have similar affinities to the food you are dining on. Sweet with sweet, sour with sour, etc.
Acidity cuts through fat and oil.
Match your beer with the season. Drink light, thirst quenching beers during the hot months, and heavy, toasty beers that are high in alcohol for the colder months.
Match the intensity of the beer with the intensity of the flavors of the food being eaten. Drink light beers with light meals, and strong beers with heavy meals. This way, the tastes of both your drink and your food can be fully appreciated.
Drink beers that will accentuate the flavor of food. For example, fruit and chocolate go very well together, so drink a porter brew with such a dessert.
Experiment! The pairing possibilities are infinite. Taste is totally subjective, so discover the combinations for yourself.