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The Ultimate Principles of Beer and Food Pairing

The Ultimate Principles of Beer and Food Pairing

Have you ever wondered why certain beers pair up so well with certain foods? Well, apparently there’s a science behind the perfect beer and food pairing and what you choose to drink with you dinner can ultimately make or break a dish.

According to John Laloganes, M.Ed., assistant professor at Kendall College and author of the The Beverage Manager’s Guide to Wines, Beers and Spirits book, there are three core principles when it comes to pairing up your beer and food. Laloganes believes that:

“The perfect beer and food pairing is one in which the interaction of beer and food don’t diminish the pleasure of either partner, but instead enhances each other to become a more fulfilling whole that involves them to co-mingle with one another.”

The latest infographic from Kendall College has looked into the basics of all three of the core principles of food/drink pairings to give us a better understand at what does and what definitely doesn’t pair well together.

Balance the weight

By mirroring the body and weight/intensity of both the beer and the food you can ensure that neither one is able to overwhelm each other. You need to find the right balance between rich and light food against the right balance of delicate and robust beers. For example, by combining them with rich foods with a pale ale or pilsner, you are more likely to overpower the beer with the richer food as these beers are considered to have a lighter body. If you’re going to eat rich foods, such as steak, it’s best to pair them up with a full body beer such as a stout or scotch ale.

The same would apply when you apply a robust beer with a light food. The beer will overpower your lighter dish so stick to a lighter bodied beer like pilsners when eating something light, such as spring rolls.

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Compare and contrast the components

Understanding the way in which the common ingredients used in your beer will help you to understand how they contribute certain structural sensations in your mouth. This will then in turn help you to be able to create the perfect pairing with your beer and food dish. The bitterness from beers like Hops can off-set sweetness and moderate levels of richness whilst the sweetness from malt beers can off-set spice and salt when compared to sweet dishes.

Bridge the flavors

By connecting bridge ingredients in your food dish with the aromas and flavors from your beer, you are able to enhance the flavors and solidify the pairing. As an example, the reason why milk stout pairs up so well with chocolate cake is because they both share a connection to milk and cocoa. Meanwhile, American Pale Ale will blend nicely with a rosemary creamed chicken dish as they are both bridged by flavors of rosemary and juniper.

To clarify, in Laloganes very own words:

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“When attempting to pair a beer with a food, consider how the drink can parallel the flow of the meal – therefore it makes sense that lighter drinks are paired with simple, lean foods prior to more robust food items being paired with heavier, bolder drinks.”

The best way to pair the right food and beer together is to follow your nose. Find the bridging flavors through the aroma of your beer.

Be sure to check out the handy infographic below so your next dinner party will be beautifully paired up.

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Beer-Pairing-Basics-10-231

    Featured photo credit: Yuhei Kuratomi via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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