By now, you've (hopefully) gotten your Father's Day gifts lined up, but you may be scrambling trying to figure out what to feed the guy. If your dad is a brewskie lover, we suggest putting together some craft beer and food pairings to really wow him this weekend. Plus, it'll be tons of fun for everyone involved.
We spoke with beer expert and author Julia Herz, who shared with us three Father's Day-worthy dishes and the types of beverages that go best with each. Herz is the publisher of CraftBeer.com as well as the Craft Beer Program Director at the Brewers Association. She is also the co-author of Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros ($13, amazon.com), so she knows a thing or two about ales, lagers, etc. Read on for her pairing suggestions and to learn why they work.
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The first pairing that Herz recommends is an American brown ale served with spaghetti and meatballs. "The brown malt flavors really echo and marry into those meatballs, and the tomato sauce and the acidity also work really well with the roast from the malt in this beer," said Herz.
Try this version of the classic dish made with tagliatelle, eggplant, and meatballs.
Herz's next suggestion is an American IPA paired with chicken wings, spicy or not. "The pale malt notes in the American IPA and a little bit of residual sugar are definitely going to really work well with the breading on the chicken wings," she said. And if Dad likes his wings spicy, this particular ale will enhance that flavor and bring out the heat of the wings.
The last pairing Herz recommends is an American stout paired with a cheese plate, because who doesn't love a good cheese plate? This beer will "go a little further than that American brown ale would in roasted malt flavors, going beyond just chocolate notes but getting more towards roasted notes and a little bit more acrid flavors, and those are very pleasing—that's why people choose a stout," she explained. Herz suggests including "everything from soft ripened, bloomy rind cheeses that are not as aged, to semi hard cheeses, which are more aged—your goudas and your cheddars." She specifically recommended including a smoked gouda, as well as a variety of fruits, hot mustard sauce, and some breads and crackers.
Beer, food, and Dad—is there a more perfect combination?