Culinary compliments: craft beer and food

Dylan Haviland – Arts & Entertainment Editor

Mac and cheese with brown ale was one of the first beer and food combinations that Cameron Pollitt, an employee at Southport Brewing Company, experienced back in college. Along with hamburgers and pale ale, mac and cheese with a side of English brown ale remains one of his favorite combinations.

The combinations of craft beer brews and groups of foods can bring out the flavor and special qualities of both the drink and the meal. For fans of culinary delights and those looking to expand their palates, craft beers offer a new experience with every combination.

The website CraftBeer has a graphic chart giving examples of the food and beer combinations based off food groups. Their combinations range from grilled ribeye and root vegetables with American brett or American brown ale to butterscotch mousse with dark chocolate with British-style barley wine or Belgian-style fruit lambic.

“I like IPA’s so I like Two Roads some Vermont craft brews. I followed in my father’s footsteps kind of, we are from up there so he drinks a lot of the local brews,” said John Richetelli, finance major and freshman. “I like having it with meat a lot, you know, steaks, stuff like that.”

New Haven’s bars and restaurants can offer 21 and older responsible drinkers the opportunity to try new culinary combinations with craft beers. The diversity of the city offers different styles of restaurants to test out beer combinations with Thai food, noodle houses, Spanish tapas to barbeque restaurants.

To try out combinations Pollitt suggested checking out breweries websites to see if food can be brought to have with the drinks.

“Choose your favorite food,” Pollitt said.  “If it’s a burger from a local place suppose you bring that and then get beer there and see what you find for yourself and what you like paired with that food.”

Kayla Benedetto, a senior communications disorders major, said she enjoys craft beer such as Blue Moon and Shock Top but has not gone into pairing with food.  She mentioned a restaurant in West Hartford, “World of Beer” that offers multiple varieties of craft beers.

“It would be nice if there were other restaurants like that out there who focused on the taste of food with matching the taste of beer would be really cool,” said Benedetto.

For the college student on a budget that is interested in expanding their palate the occasional purchase of craft beers can be a new study on food. Taking into consideration the higher price of quality beers, popular brands such as Dogfish Head and Two Roads are good beers can be found in New Haven without breaking the bank.

Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann


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