When pairing beer and pasta, you are matching the beer to the sauce as the base pasta is made with the same ingredients. The yeast in beer will always bring out the grainy texture of pasta, but different types of beer are needed for the wide range of sauces.
For a standard tomato sauce that has a balance of light and heavy flavours, a similarly balanced beer would be best suited, like an amber ale. The hops of an amber ale cuts through the acidity of the tomato and the slight sweetness of the beer highlights the subtle sweetness of the sauce.
A spicy meat-based tomato sauce would pair best with an India pale ale. The additional hops of an IPA are able to cut through the spice and heavy meats that are featured in the sauce while cooling down your palette.
Pesto sauce is made with strong herbs that are best suited with a Belgian ale. The herbs and spices of a Belgian ale match the aroma of pesto. The slight sweetness of the ale enhances the flavours of the vegetables in the sauce.
Alfredo sauce has a rich and creamy texture that is best paired with a stout. Stouts are one of the heaviest types of beer which compares well with the richness of Alfredo sauce. An oatmeal stout would match nicely as the slight sweetness of the beer would highlight the creamy texture of the sauce.
Beer and pizza is a crowd favourite that can’t go wrong, but the combination isn’t usually given much thought. Choosing the right beers to match different pizzas can enhance this staple meal.
A classic marguerita pizza is light in flavour and is best served with pilsners that are also light as to not overpower the simplicity of the pizza’s ingredients. The hoppy flavours of an amber ale would also be ideal to complement the crust and cut through the acidity of the tomato sauce.
Traditional pepperoni pizzas are best paired with hoppy IPAs to cleanse the palette of salty, greasy flavours and balance the spices in the sauce. IPAs compare well with the dense crust and heavier ingredients of pepperoni pizza.
Bacon and pineapple pizza matches best with lagers and brown ales. The malt notes of a lager compliment the sweetness of the pineapple while the saltiness of the bacon contrasts the caramel undertones of a brown ale.