How to enhance your food experience by pairing it with the right beer

By Julia Verbruggen - 20 December 2021

It is that time of the year again. Everybody is frantically running to the grocery store, buying an overload of groceries to make sure there will be an amazing holiday feast. It sounds a bit distasteful, but I am just as much a part of it. I absolutely love cooking and picking out everything in a way that ensures all the flavours fit together in an exciting manner. Luckily I am able to drop the grocery shopping on my parent's list of holiday responsibilities. After having the big foodie brainstorm, I came to the realisation that creating the menu also comes with the responsibility of thinking about a suitable way of quenching everybody’s thirst. Clearly, I prioritize the food over the drinks which results in situations where I am lucky, and the combination of the food and beverage goes well. But other times it goes horribly wrong, and you have the feeling the combination of the drinks with the food just created the Frankenstein concoction in your mouth. So, most of the time I opt for the easy way out and just ask someone in the wine shop which wine I have to buy for the dish that I am making. Not that the easy way is a bad way, but as I have been diving more into the world of craft beer when purchasing them for the Intermate drinks I felt I could do better. I should be creative enough to make some fun combinations but not being really secure enough in that feeling I did some research on it. Apparently, there is a whole ‘beerology’ that can be followed that makes sure you can find a type of beer that will enhance your dinner experience. There was a lot of text, so I bundled my knowledge into this little table for you to lower the threshold to try some beer pairing yourself!

The table below is based on the ABC- method where three different flavour combinations you can try are presented. I also added in some links to beers and recipes if you need some

inspiration to get yourself started!


The accent method is the most straightforward of the three. It is about combining similar tastes, like a fruity beer with a fruity dish or an autumn bock beer with mushrooms.


-      Have a fruity beer with a red fruit trifle

-      Abbey beer (Abdijbier) with red meat and mushrooms

-      A fresh weizen with a salad with a citrus dressing


The bridge method compares tastes that complement each other. Drinking something sour like a ‘geuze’ to cut the salty taste of a fish dish. 


-      An oniony casserole with a bock beer

-      Cherry kriek with chocolate brownies

-      Triples with roasted chicken, tuna, or grilled vegetables


The contrast method focusses on giving a new dimension to the dish by combining opposing tastes.

For example, combining a light beer with a heavy dish.


-      A weizen or white beer with a heavy creamy pasta

-      Eastern dish which a very light pilsner

-      A dark sweet abbey beer with a salty smoked fish


Intermate is the study association of the bachelor Technical Innovation Sciences, the majors Sustainable Innovation and Psychology & Technology and the masters Human Technology Interaction and Innovation Sciences.


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