Beer 101: Hints & Tips

In honor of Beer Lover's Day here are a few basic hints and tips to cover your beer drinking and pairing basics. As with all pairings, the most important thing is what you think tastes good. The next best rule of thumb is to match flavors. What is the dominant flavor in your meal? Are you trying to bring that flavor out, complement it, or undercut it? These questions will help you figure out what to drink. Beer is typically made of the same few, basic ingredients: water, yeast, hops, and grain- usually barley. What gives each beer a distinct flavor is the proportion of each of these ingredients, brewing temperatures, and timing. Plus, any bonus ingredients-think orange peel. LAGER vs. ALE Carbonated and best served chilled, lagers tend to be dry and slightly bitter. The bottom fermentation process lets yeast travel through the beer and settle at the bottom before it is stored for a time at cool temperatures to produce a full-bodied, crisp beer, with a mellow palate. Pairs well with lighter foods as it will not overpower them or drown out the flavor of the food. The more traditional top fermentation process lets yeast ferment at top of the beer and typically at a higher temperature. This process produces beers that are typically higher in alcohol content with delicious smelling flowery and fruity aromas. Pairs well with flavorful food that will add richness to the beer, while the beer complements and balances the flavors of the food. Both lagers and ales set the baseline for a whole host of possible variations. Get trying to see what you prefer! HOPS Almost all beers have hops, but only in IPAs does the higher proportion of hops provide that signature bitterness. The “hoppier” the beer, the more bitter it will be. If you are serving a meal with intense, strong flavors an IPA is sure to hold its own. Spicy food, smoked and grilled meats, and super sweet desserts all pair beautifully with a hoppy beer. CIDER Until gluten-free beers came around, cider saved the day for anyone maintaining a gluten-free diet. Now, ciders have been taken to such a level that you don’t need a reason to enjoy one. The fruitiness of ciders makes them versatile pairing partners for a wide range of dishes and flavors. Pairs especially well with savory meats and cheese, as well as fruity and sweet desserts. ------------------- This piece first appeared on the Delectable kiosk in the Fort Greene, Brooklyn Whole Foods 365

Stillwater Artisanal

Action Bronson's 7000

Delicious action Bronson beer. Ha! Supposed to taste like a natural wine. Muscat grapes. Very similar to their also delicious Dry Cry. — 6 years ago

P and Maria liked this

Pilsner Urquell

Tschechoslowakei Pilsner

Sometimes a barrel aged sour lambic made with peanut butter and smoked sausage is exactly what you might want. At other times (all other) a real beer is what you want. A beer that tastes like childhood (figuratively). This is it. A classic euro Pilsner. Refreshing, food friendly, not ridiculous alcohol or flavors. The way a lager/pils style beer should be. — 6 years ago

Trixie, GV and 5 others liked this

Suarez Family Brewery

Proclivity Pineapple Sage Country Beer

Christopher Losa

hot damn! fruity and bright the perfect dessert beer with baked summer stone fruit crumble. — 6 years ago

Riddley, P and 1 other liked this

Phonograph Cider

Phonograph Northern Spy New York State Heirloom Apples

This retains the flavor of the apples, just with bubble and alcohol :) . Probably not for everyone as it is dry and tart. No complexity just apples. Quite good though either with food or just sipping. — 6 years ago

Trixie, Sharon and 7 others liked this

Aslin Beer Company

Champion Of The Sun American IPA

Greg Ballington


Solid IPA that is hopped with Citra, Wamiea and Vic Secret. Drank out of a one pint can (16 oz) and 6.2% Alc/Vol.

Cloudy golden yellow with a moderate white head. A bit of hoppiness on the nose with some pines, citrus rind, floral and a touch herbal. Medium bodied with only a touch of bitterness. Nice amount of mandarine, a little perfumey herbs and some tropical notes behind the hoppiness. Medium plus to long finish and well rounded.

$$ - $3.98 a can.
— 6 years ago

P, Isaac and 8 others liked this


@Greg Ballington Greg Good review Cheers 🍻

Heavy Seas Beer

Plank IV

Grainy date and fig with malty caramel, hot cocoa with cinnamon and dark honey, anise and dark cacao, bitter coffee foam, and copper aromas. Malty entry with rich gingerbread and black sugar. Citrus chocolate interplay, boasting orange peel and candied lemon but shadowed by sarsaparilla and cola, black bread, allspice and pecan with black strap molasses. #barrelaged #4wood #heavyseas #unchartedwaters #plankIV #beer #quads #belgianquad #belgianstyle #oakaged #abv #quadrupel #2016 — 6 years ago

James, Ira and 2 others liked this

Interboro Spirits & Ales

Made You Look India Pale Ale

Fantastic hemp scented tropical brew with notes of anise, mint, and bitters. — 6 years ago

Ira, P and 1 other liked this

Legal Draft Beer Company

Summer Recess Grapefruit Ginger Shandy

Grapefruit and ginger. Guilty! — 6 years ago

Mark, Martin and 16 others liked this


@Shawn R Cheers 🍻
Mike R

Mike R Influencer Badge

That even looks like summer

Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Bretta Rosé Wild Ale 2017

Staying with the raspberry theme, this is fantastic. Great tartness on the palate, the raspberry element present but subtle compared to the previous beer. Great balance. Easily ond of thd best beers I’ve had from Firestone Walker. — 6 years ago

Vanessa McCaffrey
with Vanessa
LM, Mike and 6 others liked this