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The Beginner’s Guide to Food and Beer Pairings

Happy National Beer Lover's Day!

Happy National Beer Lover’s Day!

When it comes to pairing food (especially Italian food) with a drink choice, most people look to the wine list first. However, there is no reason you can’t expertly pair your beloved meals to excellent beer choices. From hearty stouts all the way to IPA’s, there is a lot of variety in the beer world, and with a little help you can pair up the perfect flavor combinations. So this September 7th, in honor of National Beer Lover’s Day, let us get you started on your food and beer pairing journey!


Light, crisp, refreshing, and hoppy, usually with a citrusy sweetness, India Pale Ale pairs well with spicy foods but not hearty ones. Of course, this could mean pairing it with a spicy curry, but you don’t have to limit yourself to Indian food. It will also pair well with spicy foods from other regions, like kimchi, or even with very rich but sweet desserts, like tiramisu.

Belgian Ale

Belgian ales are rich beers, often with a hint of spice and a subtle fruity aroma. Depending on the variety, they come in a full range of bitterness. They pair well across the board with barbecue and other very smokey foods or a rich meat stew.


Highly carbonated drinks pair well with rich food because they are refreshing. Pilsners are a bitter, hoppy beer with that refreshing carbonated finish. Pair them up with fatty fish dishes of salmon or tuna or lighter meats like sausage.


The lager is another refreshing beer choice and the profile that is most commonly thought of as regular old beer. But don’t let that sway you away, this light, crisp drink will be the perfect pairing for many cuisines. It will pair well with the heavy garlic flavors in many Italian or Spanish dishes, as well as some Mexican and South-Asian ones.

Cream or Blonde Ales

These smooth, malty beers are often the perfect combination of sweet and bitter and they pair well with other combination dishes. Consider pairing them with the sweet and spicy combination of Thai cuisine, or a dish with a sweet and zesty sausage base.


Porters are hearty beers with notes of nuts and coffee, so they need to be paired with rich, strong foods for balance. Anything that is smoked or roasted, from burgers to bacon, will likely pair well with your favorite porter, as will chocolate desserts.


For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!

This entry was posted on Friday, September 7th, 2018 at 9:45 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.