Take your food experience to the next level with a beer and food pairing at LRB Cantina. If you think about it, beer is created with four ingredients: grains (malt), water, hops and yeast. Combining these four ingredients gives us all sorts of different flavors for us to work with. Currently there are over 100 different styles of beer out there, and then you have different breweries taking a spin on those styles. So, there is always a great beer to go with your meal.

With that many choices, it can be overwhelming. There are a few guidelines to help you find the tasty combination in a beer and food pairing. First thing you need to consider is the intensity of the dish and the beer and try to find a match. You don’t want a delicate fish dish up against a heavy duty Barleywine beer. Randy Mosher, author of Tasting Beer, calls this the “Bambi versus Godzilla effect.”

Beer and Food Pairing 101

When thinking of the beer’s intensity you want to take these elements into consideration: level of alcohol (ABV), the grain (malt) profile, hop impact (bitterness, flavors and aroma), sweetness, body, and acidity.

After matching intensity, you can consider how you want to approach the taste experience. You can try to find harmonies between the dish and the beer, or you can play up the differences. In the biz, this is known as the 3 C’s- Complement, Contrast, and Cut.

The Three C’s

First, there’s Complement. Finding harmonies between the dish and the beer. There will be common flavor or aromas between the two that just go together. A great example is the British Style Brown Ale and a grilled cheese sandwich. Both have a nutty, rich flavors that just make you happy.

Next, we consider contrast. Sometimes the differences might balance each other out. The classic example of this is a Double IPA paired with carrot cake. The bitter bite from the Double IPA contrasts the sweet complex flavors of the cake and the tangy cream cheese frosting.

Finally, another wonderful aspect of beer is the Cutting effect. The carbonation, ABV, and acidity clean your palate and get you ready for the next bite.

With all of this in mind, we have created a special Four Course Valentine’s Day Dinner with LRB Beer pairings.

First Course
Our first course is a Tuna poke with a fruit gelee or a salad with house ricotta and strawberry vinaigrette. Both of these first-choice options have a light fruit undertone. Pair this with the orange in our Bribery Bittersweet Orange Wheat.

Second Course
The second course has a lightly battered tempura veggie selection or a sturdy squash soup.Tempura veggies need a little something to cut through the richness of the batter. The body of the Justice Juice IPA, with its higher than average alcohol and distinct hop profile, will do just that. The squash soup is the next option. The LRB Amber Lager is a little bready and crisp, much like a nice piece of toast with a hearty soup.

Third Course

The entree course has a rich duck option that the hint of pepper and the slight sweetness of the Jury Panel Jalapeño Pineapple Ale will provide the perfect contrast. The SC Amberjack is a lighter choice, and that fish will be brightened and highlighted by the crisp lightness of a lager. Like a fine champagne, the LRB Light Lager will highlight the subtle flavors of the Amberjack.

Fourth Course

You have three choices for dessert: S’mores Brownie Cake, Affogato, or Panna Cotta. The Nuptials Neapolitan Milk Stout brewed with chocolate malts, vanilla, and strawberries is like an extra scoop of ice cream with any of these desserts. You cannot go wrong with this beer and anything sweet.

Join us for this special Valentine’s Day Dinner! You can reserve your table via OpenTable here.
Happy Beer and Food Pairing!

-Cassie
Certified Cicerone®