Food pairing is an onward-looking trend that has gradually gained popularity across the globe. Whether you are an amateur or an expert, pairing your food with the perfect drink is a fancy go-to dining etiquette but do you know that beer has a more flexible food pairing option than any other beverage?

Whether you are enjoying your all-time favourite peanut chat, or the evergreen paneer tikka, pairing it with the right beer can elevate your experience. However, there are several key elements such as sweetness, bitterness, acidity, fruitiness, richness, etc that one needs to consider when looking at how beer can complement the food.

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Here are the factors that one must keep in mind

Strike a contrasting deal

An ideal pairing, by contrast, is when you choose a beer or food with one strong, dominant flavour. This will make your hero dish shine without its taste being overpowered. Such contrasts can be using beer and different foods to balance bitterness & sweetness, acidity & sweetness or crispness, and richness.

Beer compliments the flavours

India, as we all know, is rich in spices and flavours and it will be incomplete if one does not indulge in its versatility. Complementing the flavours of your dish with beer is one of the simplest ways to make a successful food and beer pairing. Beer and food that share common flavours, and characteristics will support each other.

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Cleanse to rinse and reset

While they enhance and amplify the flavours, beers also act as a palate cleanser. It has the unique ability to reset the palate through bitterness, alcohol, and carbon dioxide. This type of beer pairing is ideal for a food menu that has a strong or overpowering flavour like spicy Indian food or fatty fried food. This pairing also works oppositely, and you can use fatty foods, such as french fries or nuts, to cut through the bitterness.

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Here are few suggestions that you can try with beer this season:

• A glass of light lager is crisp, smooth, and carbonated which goes well with your BBQ chicken or fish and chips or even Thai curry

• A combination of the Indian pale ale with a classic burger, chicken curry, biryani, and even desserts such as Apple pie brings out the intensity in flavours

• A pilsner paired with your favourite sandwiches, pizzas, and even salad

• Creamy cheesy risotto with cider will bring alive the flavours

• Lastly, try pairing porter with rich chocolate-based desserts to wrap up the day