The Art of Pairing: Exploring Food & Beer Combinations

The Art of Pairing: Exploring Food & Beer Combinations

Posted by Chris Leguizamon

4 months ago | February 12, 2024

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 1 second


A great way to elevate a culinary experience is by thoughtfully curating a beer with your dish. While this is a subjective matter, here are some food and beer pairing guidelines to follow so that your pairing goes from “okay” to “WOW, that’s amazing”!

Read on for more information about pairing food with beer, plus a look at some of our favorite pairings to try using our classic core beers.



One of the most important guidelines to pairing beer with any dish is understanding intensity levels, sometimes referred to as weight. The range between a light summer salad and a rich burger can also be seen in beer, such as in the very approachable Rain (pilsner) to a full-bodied imperial stout or bold West Coast IPA. The key to an ideal pairing is not allowing the beer or the dish to overpower the other. It should be an even dance on the palate.

Another thing to keep in mind is flavor affiliates—combinations of flavors that simply go great together. Seafood and a freshly squeezed lemon is one of them, so look at incorporating Tropical Mist (Citrus Blonde Ale)—which has an invigorating citrus component from the local, organic Valencia oranges from Lodge Ranch Organics—into your next seafood dish. Skip the POG juice and substitute it with a tropical flavor-forward beer, such as Diamond Dust (Murky IPA), for a Hawaiian luau plate. The possibilities are endless!




Beer: Tropical Mist (Citrus Blonde Ale – 5.1% ABV)
Pairs well with: Lobster Roll

These flavors work together because what is better than a succulent bite of lobster with a pop of citrus to bring out its natural sweetness? Tropical Mist comes in texturally with an inviting soft mouthfeel from the direct-from-farmer wheat, which creates a springboard for milder, nuanced flavors instead of competing with them. Brightening up seafood dishes is a classic combination!

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Beer: Pure West (West Coast IPA – 6.3% ABV)
Pairs well with: California Burrito

A tasty combination all around! Because what grows together goes together. There is no other style enjoyed more in San Diego than a West Coast IPA. The obvious choice to pair with this beloved beer style is a culinary masterpiece from San Diego: the California burrito. Pure West’s bold intensity—both in flavor and bitterness—stands up well with the French fry-filled carne asada burrito. Bitterness cuts through the richness of the dish and helps you get to the finish line!

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Beer: Diamond Dust (Murky IPA – 6.7% ABV)
Pairs well with: Hawaiian Luau Plate

This pairing instantly sets the stage for island vibes! Diamond Dust bursts out of the glass with peach, guava, mango, and tangerine notes that resonate with island dishes and sides. This murky IPA’s low hop bitterness complements instead of contrasts with any of the tasty pork, poké, or other foods on the plate. 

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Beer: Rain (Pilsner – 5.3% ABV)
Pairs well with: Spinach & Ricotta Pizza

These flavors work together because of crushability. Rain has a delicate canvas of pale grain-like flavors that set the stage for the herbaceous, citrusy German hop in the beer to shine. Complementary Maillard flavors of malt and pie crust allow the hops and pizza toppings to sing. Ricotta adds just the right amount of creamy richness to round out the hop bitterness of this crisp unfiltered pilsner. 

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Explore different combinations of beer and food to find the right one that instantly puts a smile on your face. The table for food and beer pairing extends to all types of cuisines from all around the world. Your best combination is yet to be discovered…what will you pair with a Pure Project beer?

Filed Under: Education Ingredients