Savor Your Shellfish with the Right Beer

DSC_0514In our last food pairing post we introduced a few mixed cocktails to sip when you’re craving crabs, but sometimes there is simply no substitute for a frothy, bubbly, hoppy-herb brew! Up until the last few years, beer wasn’t used as widely as wine in food pairing. For most of recent American history, food pairing with beer went as far as the traditional bucket of wings, but not anymore. Today one of our most popular beverages is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a legitimate compliment (or contrast) to your entrée. Here are the top five beers to pair with your favorite shellfish:

Blue Moon with Shrimp

Shrimp salad, fried shrimp, coconut shrimp, or any other combination you can think of is best complimented by a Belgian white like Blue Moon. This beer has predominantly orange flavors, a hint of sweetness, and a hazy, amber-orange color. Blue Moon gets its hazy appearance from being unfiltered and it is actually the contrast in flavors that will bring out the slightly briny sweetness of the shrimp. When you dine with us, try this beer with our Shrimp Reuben sandwich from the lunch menu or the Coconut or Garlic shrimp entrée on the dinner menu.

Sam Adams Summer Ale with Lobster or Shrimp

Sam Adams is known for using more hops than most beers in its class, usually making it robust, but this particular beer won’t overpower the dish. Sam Adams Summer Ale is the perfect pairing for lobster and shrimp. Citrus flavors like lemon peel and a hint of pepper give this beer a tangy taste which complements the lobster’s delicate sweetness and accentuates the briny flavor of the shrimp. Try it with our broiled Florida lobster tail and drawn butter, lobster salad, or shrimp scampi.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski

Stella Artois with Crabs and Oysters

We know what you’re thinking. Crabs and oysters are completely different! How can a pilsner possibly do both of them justice? Crabs are mild, sweet, and savory, while fresh oysters served cold on the half shell are slightly salty with copper notes and cooked oysters as with our Oysters Rockefeller dish bring out the unique smoky flavors in this popular shellfish. Stella Artois is gold in color, lightly sweet, and mildly bitter which rounds out the flavor of a refreshing, crisp beer. The taste compliments the delicate flavors of the crab and contrasts with the salty-copper elements of fresh oysters and the hardy smoky flavor of cooked oysters. Try it with any of our fried lunch baskets too!

Anchor Steam with Clams and Crab Cakes

Anchor Steam’s most popular beer by the same name is a rich amber ale with a malty caramel flavor and slightly bitter. This beer is best served with cooked clam dishes like our Clams Casino or Clams Oreganata as well as New England crab cakes. Instead of competing with the spices and herbs in these dishes, the amber colored beer provides a shocking contrast at the same level. Every bite followed by a sip of Anchor Steam pops with flavor. This powerful amber beer is also an excellent choice with our Lobster Reuben sandwich, Oyster Po’ Boy, or Sirloin burger.

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