Here at Tröegs, we believe that beer and food are better together.

While pairing can seem a little complicated and intimidating at first, we’ve found that it helps to break down how flavors work together. Are they complementary? Are they contrasting? Or do they not work together at all?

A complementary beer pairing echoes and elevates a flavor in the dish. A contrasting pairing adds a balancing counterpoint. And an adverse pairing overshadows flavors and should be avoided.

“It’s also a good idea to match intensities,” says Ben Horning, our Executive Sous Chef. “For example, a subtle pilsner probably isn’t going to pair well with a really funky cheese. Pair subtle with subtle and bold with bold.”
Ben says our kitchen team works a lot like our brewers.

“The way you make a beer is, you balance it – sweetness from the malt and bitterness from the hops,” he says. “Fundamentally, you’re pushing and pulling those two dynamics. With food, it’s very similar. You don’t want a dish that’s 100% sweet. Or 100% salty. You want to balance flavors and play them off of each other – sweet, salty, bitter, acidic. That’s how we think about our menu, and that’s how we approach pairing.

“Above all, relax and have fun,” says Ben. “Taste is subjective, and there are no hard-and-fast rules. This is all about exploring flavor combinations and finding something you enjoy.”

Food Notes

Our brewmaster and chefs put their heads together to nudge you toward flavors that work with our beers and away from flavors that don’t.