Is there any better combo than nachos and beer while watching the game? How about your favorite tacos and a craft beer while catching up with friends? Bringing people together with delicious food and refreshing beers is the recipe for a perfect day. What these have in common is the elite flavor pairing of beer and salsa that will enhance your snacking experience.
The flavorful combination of tangy, spicy, sweet, and fresh is sure to make anyone happy. Along with washing down salsa, choosing the right ale or lager will bring out the flavors of the salsa and vice versa. While this can be a difficult task, we’re here to help recommend the best flavor pairings whether you’re enjoying salsa on a taco, chips, or fajitas. Here are our picks for the beers that go best with salsa.
American Pale Ales and IPAs
American pale ales and IPAs have a subtle sweetness that pairs well with spicier salsas. These beers act as a perfect palette cleanser that refreshes your taste buds and makes every bite equally as delicious. Additionally, these hoppy beers intensify the salsa’s heat while pairing well with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Try enjoying your next plate of nachos with an American pale ale or IPA to bring out the subtle flavors.
We recommend a Blue Moon Belgian White, an IPA that offers citrus notes of orange peel. This acidity complements the tart lime in salsa and brings freshness to your meal. In addition, the hints of coriander pair perfectly with the cilantro in the salsa.
For spicier salsas, we always reach for a malty beer, such as a Vienna Lager. This beer has a subtle bitterness that helps cut through the heat of the salsa. The strong flavor profile guarantees that it can stand up to salsas with a lot of spice. Even better, it won’t overpower other flavors from taco fillings or nacho toppings.
Negra Modelo is a classic Vienna lager that compliments spicy Mexican food, and salsa is no exception. The roasted flavors in the beer are a perfect match for caramelized flavors in the meat and the freshness of the salsa.
Pale lagers are bright and light beers that match the flavor profile of salsa on lighter dishes. There’s no better summer flavor pairing than fresh, natural salsa and a delicious pale lager. The sweetness helps mellow out the acidity and spices that salsa brings to the table for the perfect bite. Try pairing pale lagers with fish tacos or a plate of veggies and salsa.
Pale lagers, like Corona and Tecate, are the perfect drink to quench your thirst on a hot day without overwhelming the palette. These beers pair well with the lime and other tangy flavors of the salsa.
Amber and Brown Ales
Amber and brown ales are malt-forward beers that do well with flavorful dishes. These darker craft beers are good for rich salsa dishes like carnitas or fajitas. The hefty flavor profile helps offset the fattiness of pork, carne asada, and tacos al pastor while also elevating the sweetness of the tomato and cilantro in the salsa. In general, the roasted flavor of amber and brown ales will pair perfectly with charred meat in many salsa dishes.
Bell’s Amber is a powerful amber ale that will compliment salsa perfectly. The toasted, nutty flavor pairs well with caramelized meats. In addition, the maltiness will help cool down any heat from spicy salsas. Thanks to the lack of bitterness, this amber ale has a smooth and round finish that completes any meal.
Both pilsners and salsa dishes are great on their own but become extraordinary together. Pilsners are a great palette cleanser that makes the last bite of salsa just as good as the first. The crisp carbonation cuts through the fattiness of many salsa dishes and can handle spiciness with ease. On the other hand, pilsners are restrained enough to avoid completely taking over your meal.
We recommend Pilsner Urquell for a firm bitterness that will cut through rich dishes while also pairing perfectly with salsa. This beer is perfect for kicking back on a warm day and provides a crispness that compliments salsa’s fresh flavors.
Pairing beer and salsa dishes is all about experimentation. The right choice can help enhance the flavors of both the beer and salsa, creating delicious harmony for your taste buds. American pale ales, IPAs, Vienna lagers, pale lagers, brown ales, amber ales, and pilsners are all great beers to pair with your favorite salsa dish. Using this guide as a starting point, try out some of these flavor pairings for your next Sunday football game or Taco Tuesday.
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