The CBC Guide to Pairing Beer and Sandwiches

August is National Sandwich Month. What does that entail? We’re not really sure, but we thought it was a good excuse to discuss some fun beer and sandwich pairings. Because, who needs a reason, really? It’s a wide world of sandwiches out there, luckily, beer is just as diverse, offering a pairing for pretty much any bread/protein/topping combo you can think of!

Warning: This might make you hungry (& thirsty)!

 

Lindemans Cuvee Rene & Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
Sandwich Photo Credit: @estarla via Instagram
Fried Chicken Sandwich & Lindeman’s Cuvée René

The acidity in the Cuvée René helps to cut the grease of fried chicken. The vinous character of the Gueuze also brightens up the sandwich, providing a complementary character to any additional slaw and/or pickle toppings.

 

Bahn Mi & Live Oak Big Bark Amber Lager

Big Bark from Live Oak Brewing in Austin, TX has a nice German specialty malt character that brings out the sweetness in the pickled veggies and tames any heat from this Vietnamese classic sandwich. The crisp, clean finish of the beer cleans up any fat from the Banh Mi.

 

Founders Porter and PB&J Sandwich
Sandwich Photo Credit: Bon Appetit
PB&J & Founders Porter

The debate has been raging on for years. Creamy or chunky peanut butter? Strawberry or grape jelly? Either way, the nutty, fruity, and sticky sandwich contrasts beautifully with the roasty malt character in Founders flagship American Porter.

Cochon de lait & Bayou Teche Acadie French Farmhouse Ale

Cochon de lait is pork that has been smoked for half a day and then pulled. Add on some fresh cabbage and a creole mustard mayo sauce (sometimes with horseradish), and the combo is sweet, salty, savory, and a bit spicy. Acadie is a malty farmhouse ale with citrus hop character to bring out that sweetness, but wipe away all that fatty richness.

 

Schlenkerla Helles Lager & Pulled Pork Sandwich
Sandwich Photo Credit: hauteandhealthyliving.com
Pulled Pork & Schlenkerla Helles

It’s all about pairing like with like on this one! The ethereal smoke character of the classic Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier pairs well with any tomato-based BBQ sauces and the smokiness of the beer amplifies the smoke in pork.

 

Devil's Purse Kolsch & Lobster Roll Sandwich
Sandwich Photo Credit: Bon Appetit
Lobster Roll & Devil’s Purse Handline Kölsch

Keeping it all New England on this one! The light crispness of the Handline Kölsch (a ale/lager hybrid style) complements the richness and brings out the touch of sweetness in the lobster.

Cuban & Cigar City Topobaga Red IPA

The caramel, bready notes of the malt in Topobaga mesh perfectly with the toasty, subtle sweetness in a Cuban sandwich. There’s enough of a citrus hop punch, contributed by Citra and Summit, to cut through the pork and cheese and tie in the tangy mustard.

 

DogfishHead 60 Minute IPA & Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Sandwich Photo Credit: dinnerthendessert.com
Philly Cheese Steak & Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

A crisp, hoppy, assertive IPA like Dogfish’s 60 Minute is needed to cut through all of the fatty, cheesey deliciousness of a Philly cheesesteak (no matter if your preference is whiz or provolone, with or without onions).

Muffuletta & Natchez Southern Grace Berliner Weisse

The tartness of Southern Grace’s Natchez Berliner matches with the tangy muffuletta olive mix and helps cut through the fatty cuts of meat on the classic New Orleans sandwich.

 

Bell's Oberon & BLT Sandwich
Sandwich Photo Credit: Bon Appetit
BLT & Bell’s Oberon

The sweet, bready flavor in American Wheats such as Oberon sings with the bread component of the simple, classic BLT. Just enough fruitiness to tie in the sweet summer tomato, and cut through the fatty bacon and mayo. 

Virginia is the Products, Programming, and Educational Director for Craft Beer Cellar. In addition to being a Certified Cicerone, she is an Introductory Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Her home base is Chicago, but she’s often found in the Boston area, or wherever her passion for good food & drink takes her.

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