Will Crew for Beer
I'm usually pretty good at picking an appropriate style beer to go with my food, but I'm not sure what to pair with my wife's spaghetti. It's a kind of heavy meat sauce. I usually end up drinking a red wine like a Shiraz. Anyone have any suggestions for a pairing?
Feel free to post any other interesting or difficult pairings.
Rule number one of a gunfight, bring a gun. Rule number two of a gunfight, bring friends with guns.
Prince of Fatness
I generally don't put much thought into what goes with what. But since you asked about the spaghetti and mentioned red wine how about a barley wine or maybe old ale? Personally I would have a harder time determining what beer would not go with spaghetti.
I don't know. I feel like a nice IPA would go well with that spaghetti. But then again, a nice IPA usually goes down well anytime. I don't think about it too much myself either. In our fridge we've usually got something heavyish and/or sweet (porter, belgian), IPAish, or cheap lawn mowerish to choose from. I think I choose based on context more than what I'm eating.
gotta last for a bunch of hours = 1 IPA (Dale's, Anti-Hero, Sidekick usually in rotation) or similar strength followed by endless cheap beer
time for a just a couple with friends
>if on a tear the last few days - cheap beer (PBR, Tecate, High Life...I will drink almost anything)
>if living cleanish the last few days - time for something stronger, couple 2-3 IPAs (or some such, ooh Bell's Oberon)
weekend and/or been a hard week - anything goes, including whiskey
weeknight dinner - 1-2 IPA (if winter maybe 1 porter or such)
Okay, so maybe I choose my beer accompaniment based on alcohol % and what I am in the mood for taste-wise and next morning-wise. That sums it up and is completely not helpful to you but fun for me.
A barley wine or an old ale might be interesting to try. I hadn't thought of those. An IPA just doesn't seem like something that would go with spaghetti, but I haven't really tried that pairing. I'm thinking maybe an amber that wasn't too hoppy or a brown ale that wasn't too roasty might be good.
I tend to think of lighter colored beers like IPAs, wheat beers, saisons, etc as tending to pair with things that white wines would pair with and darker beers like porters, stouts, dark belgians, etc as tending to pair with things that red wines would pair with.
I tried an Old Chub with some left over spaghetti. Not really the best pairing. The malt sweetness didn't really go well.
Taint of Steel
I second the IPA suggestion based on the principle of contrast. You need something to cut through the sweet, acidic tomato sauce. I would suggest a pretty heavy-handed one and not one with a more delicate hop profile. Another idea would be to go the DIPA/IIPA route, which would have the hoppy contrast but also some sweet maltiness as a different way to complement the food (barleywine might work much the same way).
Alternatively, a very crisp wheat could work.