There's really no wrong way to pair suds with the brown, but some styles truly work better together. I've been through a lot of different combos in the name of research and these are my go-to style match ups.
  1. American Rye + IPA
    This is the only kind of whiskey I like to pair with IPAs, something about the spice of the rye hits the bitter hops perfectly. Go big on the IPA and make it a double or imperial like Firestone Double Jack and stick with a classic American Rye like Overholt. If you want to step up your rye, skip the Bulleit and try the more boutiquey Few or the mythical and intense Whistle Pig.
  2. Bourbon + Lager
    Lager is one of the few beers that will raise the oak on your palate rather than smother it and you can thank the malty profile for that. I'm currently hooked on Eagle Rare with the most basic lager back I can find, usually Olympia, High Life or PBR.
  3. High Proof Bourbon + Stout/Porter
    Take a delicious high proof like Weller 107 or George Stagg's and cool it the hell off with Anchor Porter.
  4. Irish Whiskey + Pilsner
    This pairing also works just as well with a Kolsch instead of a Pilsner. Current favorite pair is Tullamore Dew with Bitburger or Occidental Kolsch. Truly great pilsners and kolsches are surprisingly hard to find from microbrewers, so when I doubt just stick with a German or Czech import or a standby like Trumer.
  5. Scotch + Ale
    Single malts don't ask to be paired with anything because they so completely dominate BUT there is one ale that absolutely wins when paired with any scotch, blended or single malt- Old Speckled Hen. Truth is, you can pair OSH with any whisk(e)y in the world and get a great result.
  6. Canadian Whisky + ESB
    Canadian Whiskey is in a sorry state right now but there are some small distilleries especially in BC that are going to be changing things soon. In the meantime, grab the best American interpretation, Pendleton, and take the sweetness with an extra specialbitter like Fullers.