If you’re a big fan of barbecued or charbroiled steak, and have never ventured past drinking Budweiser at a BBQ, I highly suggest you try a Brown Ale, such as Newcastle Brown Ale from England or KLB Nut Brown Ale from Ontario, Canada.
English Brown Ales tend to have a lot of nutty and caramel or burnt sugar flavours, but finish dry, and are crisp on the tongue. This makes it perfect for anything off the grill as these caramel flavours you find in the beer link up perfectly with the charred flavours of the meat.
In fact, Brown ales will match any beef dish no matter how it’s cooked. Grilled, pan fried, stewed roasted, tossed into a chilli or stir fry, this is a great go to beer. The rule of thumb for selecting a British over a North American beer is that if the dish is spicy (from chilli peppers or a sauce) select a North American Brown Ale as they tend to have a little more muscle to handle the spice. If the dish is more simple and laid back, choose an English Brown Ale.
Brown Ales will go nicely with darker meats like lamb, liver, roasted duck, boar, venison, pork, and ham as well as earthier vegetables such as mushrooms like shiitakes or morels or beans and even caramelized onions. The lightly roasted nature of the beer loves the earthiness of these vegetables while being fruity enough to handle the gaminess of some of the meats listed above. Imagine how great this beer would taste with pork tenderloin stuffed with brown rice and mushrooms.
One of my favourite dishes on a cold winter’s day is stew, and a Brown Ale is amazing with this dish no matter what type of meat is used. The brown ale seems to just mingle with every single flavour in the stew while at the same time cutting though the heftiness of the dish.