Typically as people begin to shop for their Easter dinner they always think what wine goes best for their meal, the beer is merely an afterthought. Until I began reading a book, which made me change my mind on how we should perceive beer on the dinner table, I would of thought the same. The book I am referring to is Garrett Oliver’s “The Brewmaster’s Table”. Garrett Oliver is the Brewmaster for Brooklyn Brewery and he believes that beer can go just as good if not better with food then wine. So come Easter Sunday, or any day you have these for a main course, try some of the following pairings and you can be the judge.
Beers that go with Ham:
Irish Stout: Irish stouts have the ability to pair beautifully with dishes you would never expect; pairing is usually more a matter of stark contrast then seamless harmony. Similar to how it plays off the brininess of most seafood, Irish stouts play off the saltiness of the ham and pulls out the essential flavors of the meat.
Pilsner: I can’t think of a more refreshing beer that goes better with all sorts of cured meats then a traditional Pilsner. It’s palate-cleansing bitterness and carbonation cuts through the fat and pulls the salt out of the meat which allows the essential flavor of the ham to step out. (Not to mention it also great with the leftover ham and cheese sandwiches).
Oktoberfest Marzen: If you have some left over from October or if you buy one of the year round Oktoberfest Marzen, like the one Spaten brews, this is a great time to drink it. Marzen goes terrific with ham, even if you glaze it. Not to mention it pairs well with a traditional Easter side dish, mac and cheese.
Honorable Mentions: Tripel, Belgian Strong Golden Ale, English Brown Ale
Beers that go with Roasted Lamb:
Dubbels: Dubbels or Dobbels are best with gamy red meat especially Lamb and the traditional herbs that go with it. The caramelized flavors of the beer work well with the surface of the meat, and its fruit flavors will go with the rest of the dish, especially if you make your lamb with a fruit sauce.
Scotch Ale: Lighter Scotch Ales go well when paired with a simple Lamb dish showcasing its natural gamy herbal flavors. Their light fruitiness and sweet malt find deep resonance in the food.
Honorable Mentions: Old ale, Biere de Garde, Strong Dark Trappist Ale, Abbey Ale
Beers that go with Grilled Lamb:
British and American Brown Ales: Brown Ales go great with gamy food. The chocolate and caramel notes link up with the char of a grilled dish. If your doing a lighter sauce or smoked lamb go with British Brown. If a fruit or heavy sauce is involved go with the bolder American Brown.