How do we sell more craft beer to our customers? By making it an exciting experience, of course. And we do this by pairing, which reveals hidden flavors and interactions in both food and drink. There is plenty of sophistication in beer pairing.
A good pairing should…
- Make use of commonalities in flavor and aroma. Create harmonies by pairing a spicy Thai dish with a spicy pale ale, or nutty English brown ale with handmade cheddar cheese.
- Contrast in order to enhance flavors. Balance a dry, bitter stout with sweet shellfish, like oysters.
- Match texture and strength. Bubbles cut through fried and fatty foods, so opt for more carbonization when eating richer foods, but choose a delicate beer for more delicate foods.
Tips for More Beer Sales
1. Offer pairing suggestions, either orally, in the menu, or both.
2. Share the local or seasonal beer you’re stocking in all the usual places, like Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to give as much information as you can— the brewer, the beer type, ABV, hop varieties, etc.
3. Make sure your tap list is current and is listed on your mobile-friendly website.
4. Train servers. After all, they are responsible for sharing the treasures of your bar with the guests, so help them to know the difference between an imperial IPA and an imperial stout.
5. Host a beer pairing. Beer pairings are a great way to open your doors to new customers, earn the loyalty of the craft-beer constituents, and to flaunt your menu to a beer-loving crowd.
Already know your customers’ taste in wine? Suggest a similar bodied beer:
Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Pinot Grigio
Beers: Lager, Pilsner, Wheat
Wines: Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah
Beers: Ale, IPA, Bock
Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Oaky Chardonnay
Beers: Stout, Porter, Barleywine
Serving Tip: Ales and lagers provide their best flavor when served at a temperature of 40-50°F.