Beer and food have loads of flavors in common, and they can complement each other beautifully. But most of us are just swigging and chewing mindlessly, missing an opportunity to appreciate interactions between the two, according to the authors of a new book on beer pairings. Full story: by Morgan McCloy / NPR
  1. Beef Chili + Imperial Double IPA
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    The pale malt in the beer goes with browned meat; hops add herb notes that enhance the chili's flavor.
  2. Guacamole + Hoppy American Pale Ale
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    Citrus notes in the pale ale go with lime in the guacamole, and toasted malt matches up with corn chips.
  3. Buffalo Wings + Bohemian-Style Pilsner
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    Hops in the beer cut the grease in the wings. The beer's slight sweetness also cuts the heat in wings and offers a crisp, clean finish.
  4. Cool Ranch Doritos + Imperial Red Ale
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    Caramel malt in the beer brings out the chips' sweetness. Hops in the beer can also help enhance herb notes in the chips.
  5. Pizza + German-Style Pilsner
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    The beer's bitterness goes with the gooey cheese, and the graham-cracker flavor of the malt pairs with the pizza crust.
  6. Some More Tips: Scent, Temperature and Glasses
    To get the most out of your pairings,you'll need to cover some basics: Scents — Make sure there are no scented candles or lingering aromas around, particularly perfumes, colognes or lotions. Temperature — If you keep your beer ice cold, or even at the more common 38 degrees, let it warm up for 10 minutes or more before tasting. Glasses — Use smaller drinking glasses if you have them. Just 2-3 ounces of beer can be enough for each round of a tasting.
  7. Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros by JULIA HERZ and GWEN CONLEY
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    A guide to pairing specific foods with 25 styles of beer explains the effects of aroma, taste, preference and personal experience on flavor. Purchase: