A hearty steak with an ice-cold beer is what’s for dinner. But, with so many options for each, how do you know what beers go well with steak (yes, it’s possible to go wrong here)?
Chicago Steak Company is here to make your choices easier with some of the best beer and steak pairings to please your palate.
Why Does Steak and Beer Work So Well Together?
Steak and beer are two of man’s best friends, so it’s not much of a surprise that the two pair so well together. But why, exactly, do they work as well as they do? There are a few reasons why beer and steak are the perfect match for each other:
- Beer is cold and refreshing. You have a hot steak and a cold beer. When you’re eating hot food, you don’t typically feel refreshed after drinking something hot, like tea or coffee. A cold brew cools off your mouth and gives you that “Aaahh” feeling you need to keep digging right in.
- The tastes complement each other. When you choose the right beer for your steak, the flavors work together to complement each other. Beer can bring out the flavors of steak without overpowering them, and vice versa.
- Beer can cleanse your palate. Who knew beer could wipe the palate clean so that you can enjoy every flavor of your steak dinner? It’s all thanks to the natural carbonation.
Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s check out some of the best steak and beer pairings:
Smoked Porter with Steakburgers
Steakburgers are the ultimate backyard barbecue food. Ours are made from the top 2% of beef and are super thick, just like you and your guests expect from a juicy burger. Steakburgers on the grill have that delicious smoky, bold flavor you know and love, so what better way to bring that out than with a smoky beer?
Smoked porter does an awesome job of emphasizing the flavors of steakburgers without overpowering them, making for one incredibly savory meal.
Pale Ale with Top Sirloin
Choose a pale ale with top sirloin, a muscular steak that’s not as tender as other cuts, but it’s full of flavor, making it a perfect choice for the grill. Pale ale is a light-colored beer with strong flavors and a dry finish, and its fruity undertones pair well with the manly top sirloin.
Amber Ale with Prime Rib
Amber ale is a beer that people often use to cook with to flavor prime rib or short ribs. It’s an excellent choice for marinades or homemade barbecue sauces because it’s sweet and rich in flavor. Drinking amber ale with prime rib can have a similar effect on your taste buds as eating a sauce or marinade using the beer.
India Pale Ale with Ribeye
India pale ale, more commonly referred to as IPA, is one of the best options for the ribeye, one of the most popular cuts of steak. Although ribeye can find a match in almost any beer, IPA and ribeye just have something special together.
In fact, some steak enthusiasts make IPA marinades for ribeyes, much like amber ale marinades and sauces for the prime rib. IPA has fruity undertones that counteract their bitterness, while its malts help counteract the fattiness ribeye is known for.
Light Lager with Filet Mignon
Most people reach for wine with filet mignon, but there’s no reason to skip the beer. Filet mignon has more subtle flavors than other steaks, so the key is to grab a drink that enhances the cut’s flavor rather than outshines it.
Light lagers can do just that. They typically have less alcohol content than others so that they won’t cut right through your steak’s flavor.
Conclusion: Find a Beer for Every Steak (and a Steak for Every Beer!)
You always want your beef to shine, so finding a beer that works with it instead of against it is the key to an amazing steak dinner. Use the above suggestions as a guide, but of course, your favorite beer can always work with steak when you’re in the mood for some comfort food. For more ideas for pairings, recipes, and inspiration, check out our steak resources on Steak University.
For additional meat and beer pairing info, check out Simply Meat Smoking’s BBQ Pairing Infograph below.
Beer and Steak FAQs
Some of the best beer with steak options include pale ale, amber ale, and light lager, depending on the kind of steak you’re eating. For example, light lager works with mildly flavored cuts, like filet mignon, as the understated flavor of the beer doesn’t overpower the steak.
Beef and beer is a must-try pairing if you’re a beer drinker. The strong, robust flavors of beef, including ground beef and steak, tend to pair well with steak. Plus, beer helps cleanse the palate as you eat, allowing you to enjoy the intricate flavors of beef.