Pairing Food and Beer

Different beer styles can be paired with food recipes to match flavors and aromas. Food comes in different forms, such as appetizers / hors d'oeuvres, entrees, desserts. To pair beer with any of these, there are two basic characteristics be aware of. The first is matching flavor and aroma groups. The second is matching flavor and aroma intensities.

Flavor Groups

The flavors that can be perceived are currently organized into 6 categories. Flavors are perceived by taste buds which are mainly on the tongue. The inner cheeks and palate have minor amounts.

Taste buds have receptors that detect certain flavor compounds and send signals to the brain. Some signals take a more direct route than others, so some flavors are perceived more quickly when present. There are 6 types of

Bitter

Bitterness is perceived by the whole tongue, but it is more concentrated toward the back. Time from detection to perception is slow, and this flavor also lingers. Bitterness is a flavor that is produced by plants as a defense mechanism. No animals can tolerate it, but people can and some even love it.

Fat

Fat is perceived by the whole tongue, but it is more concentrated toward the bac. Time from detection to perception is moderate.

Salty

Saltiness is perceived by the whole tongue equally. Time from detection to perception is moderate. This flavor triggers from sodium and potassium.

Sour

Sourness is perceived by the whole tongue, but it is more concentrated on the left and right sides. Time from detection to perception is fast! This flavor triggers from acids. Acids found in food and beverages include citric, lactic, malic, acetic, and malic.

Sweet

Sweetness is perceived by the whole tongue equally. Time from detection to perception is moderate. This flavor triggers from sugars.

Umami

Umami is perceived by the whole tongue equally. Time from detection to perception is moderate. This flavor is also known as savory.

Pungency

This sensation is also known as piquancy or hot-spiciness. It is not technically a flavor.

Aroma Groups

Unlike flavors, the aromas that can be perceived are in the thousands.

Flavor Intensities

Aroma Intensities