Sometimes, beer really is best when it comes to food pairings. We’ve taken five iconic beer styles and identified the perfect Ontario food pairings for each. Bon appetit!
OCB SAYS: Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a top-fermenting brewers’ yeast. This yeast ferments the beer quickly, giving it a sweet, full bodied and fruity taste. Most ales contain hops, which impart a bitter herbal flavour that helps to balance the sweetness of the malt and preserve the beer. Amber Ale is a style of beer that takes its name from its colour, which is slightly darker and more orange in hue, than typical lagers.
We like Cameron’s AmBEAR Red Ale for this one. It’s got loads of citrus on the nose and palette, plus a generous hop aroma. While the brewers notes suggest red meat or spicy food, we love it with Black River Medium Cheddar.
OCB SAYS: A bock is a full flavoured, malty and dark beer traditionally brewed in winter to celebrate the coming spring, especially the festivals of Lent and Easter. Full-bodied and well-hopped, Bock is bottom-fermented and made from barley malt. Tradition has it that bocks once served as the sustenance for fasting monks. Bocks can range in colour from deep copper to dark brown.
For a classic Bock, we like Dog Stalker Bock from Grand River Brewing. Classic bock’s have high malt character with aromas of toasted or nut-like malt, but not caramel. The Bock from Grand River Brewing is malty in all the right ways. We love this one with Chocosol’s 5 Chili Bullet Chocolate.
OCB SAYS: Invented in Pilsen, Czech Republic, this specific type of lager has a mild maltiness combined with a crisp, clean hop character and golden colour. Pilsner range from mild to very hoppy and come in two styles: Bohemian and German.
Do one thing, really well is Steam Whistle’s slogan for a reason. It’s the quintessential Ontario pilsner, and it’s all they make. We like it with perfectly simple Ontario shrimp cocktail — yes, there is such a thing as Ontario shrimp!
OCB SAYS: Rich and nourishing, this is a heavier brew of ale, with just a hint of sweetness. This deliciously thick top-fermented ale ranges from medium to full in body. Robust porters are black in colour and have a sharp, sweet, roast malt flavour. Generally brewed with soft water, porter’s dark brown hue comes from roasting the barley before the brewing process begins.
One of our favorite Ontario porter’s hails from South River. The Blacksmith Smoked Porter from Highlander Brewing Company is dark and nutty with notes of burnt espresso, maple and peat. We think it’s perfect with grilled venison or better yet, a grilled pizza with grilled venison.
WHEAT BEER (WIT)
OCB SAYS: Crisp, fresh, and light, wheat beer is brewed with a combination of malted barley and, wheat. This produces a paler colour than most all-barley ales but is very full on flavour. Like ales, wheat beer is usually top-fermented, and can be cloudy and effervescent.
We love, love, LOVE the Moonlit Wit by our #FeastOn Certified friends at Northwinds Brewery. In lieu of being able to pair this beauty with Chef Travis’s duck fat fries at home, we suggest a classic caesar salad. Garlicy, fresh and green, it really is a perfect pairing.