The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Beer With Food | MenStuff

The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Beer With Food

Two SAB Trade Brewers give us some hints to help pair our beloved golden nectars with the right foods.

For the everyday beer drinker that loves his/her beer but does not know all the intricate characteristics – finally the “cheat sheet” to beer and food pairings is here.

According to Da Silva, wine accompanies food well, but beer complements foods.

Beer has many different flavours and textures that pair with a large variety of food – more so than other beverages, including wine.

Learn a few cheats and your next dinner party will be the talk of the town.


It all comes together with a Castle.

Known for the perfect balance between dry and bitter, Castle Lager described in three words is “thirst-quenching, flavoursome and balanced”.

Best paired with: MEAT

  • Braai meats (e.g. grilled sirloin) – it is a South African tradition to drink Castle Lager at our typical braais.
  • Mild curry – it acts as a “semi-fire blanket” against mild curries only.

Note to remember:

  • Anton’s catch phrase ‘The smoothness and succulence of Castle Lager’ pairs well with the salt of the meat, and the hop, pairs well with pepper (normally put on braai meats).
  • It is robust and full bodied – enough to stand up to a variety of meats provided the sauce is not too overpowering.


With its unique drinking experience, Hansa Pilsener described in three words is “Pilsener, refreshing and crisp”.


  • Lightly flaked herby white fish
  • Crisp green salads with cream dressing
  • Broccoli
  • Fried Camembert in phyllo pastry

Note to remember:

  • It is medium bodied and pairs well with lightly spiced dishes.


Extra cold

With its unique drinking experience, Castle Lite described in three words is “ice-cold, lite and premium”.


  • Light seafood – fish should not have overly fishy/sea taste
  • Crisp and crunchy green salads – includes pasta salads

Note to remember:

  • The premium lite beer undergoes low temperature fermentation to create lower levels of bitterness and a cleaner, crisper beer – therefore plates well with food with light flavours.
  • Pairs well with green salads because of its coarse crisp mouthfeel and some ‘green’ aromas.


The Champions’ beer

Distinguished by its flavour and reputation, Carling Black Label described in three words is “intrinsic, full-bodied/ full-flavoured and fruity aroma”.

Best paired with: BIG FOOD FLAVOURS

  • Strong curry – as well as the sambals of coconut, banana, tomato and onion
  • Pork and apple sauce
  • Pork belly with sweet/honey/fruit glaze
  • Caramelised onions
  • Yorkshire puddings – the sweet bread flavours
  • Sweet and sour chicken

Note to remember:

  • Carling Black Label goes well with strong curries because of its bitterness is lower.
  • It is full bodied enough to stand against bigger flavoured food without getting lost.
  • The perceived sweetness of Black Label and its fruity characteristics complement the sweet characteristics in food.


It’s Miller Time

Distinguished by its flavour and reputation, Carling Black Label is described as “‘fresh from the tap’ taste (smooth), lightly-fruity and slightly-sweet”.

Best paired with: HOT CURRIES and CHEESE

  • Hot curries – serve ice cold as excellent “fire blanket”
  • Soft cheeses – brie and mozzarella

Note to remember:

  • Miller’s unique process of cold-filtering the beer four times results in a fresher-tasting – as if straight from the tap.



Savour the moment

Castle Milk Stout described in three words is “smooth, rich and quality dark roasted malt”.

Best paired with: RICH MEATS and PUDDINGS

  • Rich stews
  • Oxtail
  • Fresh oysters
  • Big flavoured roasts with intense sauce
  • Any chocolate or toffee puddings

Note to remember:

  • Choice barley grain is slow roasted to produce a rich dark brew. A unique blend of hops adds a touch of bitterness while special yeast produces the flavour and creamy head – it is big enough to stand up to the most flavoursome and rich dishes.



Considered the “ultimate” beer, Pilsner Urquell with its 21 different taste notes is a “golden, juxtaposition of bitterness and sweetness”.

Best paired with: DRAMATIC FOOD

  • Strongly flavoured beef and pork stews
  • Chicken kiev
  • Angry duck
  • Thai curries
  • Tomato bredie
  • Traditional goulash
  • Indian masalas and curries
  • Full roasted meat dishes
  • Venison

Note to remember:

  • It is a beer for Connoisseurs to be savoured and enjoyed – the complexity of the beer also lends itself to dramatic food pairings.



Peroni Nastro Azzurro described in three words is “crisp, bold and timeless”.

Best paired with: VARIETY (meat/fish, poultry and greens) 

  • Most forms of Carpaccio – with rocket and parmesan
  • Light tuna and olives
  • Seared tuna with black pepper
  • Portuguese dishes
  • Seafood
  • Soft cheeses
  • Butternut soup
  • Terrines, confits and pates

Note to remember:

  • The combination of craftsmanship with effortless style, a touch of boldness, brewed to an authentic Italian recipe, ensures that Peroni remains a timeless classic.


What’s your favourite meal to pair your beer with? Let us know in the comments below…

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