As craft breweries continue to spring up around the world, the popularity of beer has never been higher. With so much choice available and continuing shifts towards producing high-end beers, even connoisseurs of wine and other beverages are becoming increasingly attracted to beer.
Because the world of beer is more exciting than ever, arranging a tasting session is a great way for people to experience a range of different styles and flavours. But what's beer without a tasty snack? If you're hosting a beer tasting evening, don't just stick to whatever snacks you have available. If you put a bit of thought into it, you can really enhance a beer's flavour with a perfect snack pairing.
The bold, refreshing hop flavours of a good IPA are an excellent match for spicy foods. This gives you a lot of scope for variation, but simplicity is best when you're matching snacks with beers.
Good choices are spicy olives and nuts, or strongly-flavoured chips. If you want something a bit more substantial, nachos loaded with spicy toppings is a great choice.
Pilsner is one of the most commonly found beers around the globe, and its popularity is largely down to its light, delicate, refreshing taste. Because the taste is more subtle than other beers, it's best not to overpower it with strong-tasting snacks.
Tried and true classics like plain salted chips, pretzels and nuts are ideal, as they provide a savoury addition without being too prominent. Pilsner-style beers also go nicely with various fried snacks, but again, watch out for particularly strong flavours.
With its richness and strong, bold flavours, dark, creamy stout is an excellent partner to various cheeses. Serve up a cheeseboard with a selection of crackers and chutneys and you'll be in for a treat. If you want something simpler and far less fancy, why not try serving up some cheese flavoured snacks? Chips, pretzels, nuts, and many other snack foods are available with a cheese flavouring, and serving up little bowls of different items will charm your beer tasting guests.
Although it's similar to stout in some ways, porter is more commonly paired with sweet dishes. Its flavours go particularly well with dark chocolate, pieces of which can be mixed in with nuts and dried fruit for a nice finish to a beer tasting evening. Foods involving caramel are also a good match for porters, as are small chocolate cakes such as brownies.
Work with a snack food supplier near you to ensure your brewery as all the right goodies for tasting night.