By Pete Dulin
Pairing different styles of beer with food is fun and easy with a little practice. From IPAs to saisons, beers from local breweries are available in Kansas City restaurants and pair well with dishes for complementary or contrasting flavor.
At The Farmhouse, the Hatfield burger is made with local, grass-finished ground beef, topped with extra cheese and bacon and served with house fries. Enjoy it with Dunkel, a dark, medium-bodied Munich-style lager from Kansas City Bier Company. Slightly sweet malt flavor and mild hops cuts through the rich, juicy beef, tangy cheese and salty-sweet bacon.
Belgian IPA, a highly hopped West Coast-style brewed by McCoy’s Public House with prominent hops aroma, is a natural partner with beer-battered fish and chips. For dessert, drink Oatmeal Stout with the ice cream sandwich, a combination of homemade peanut butter ice cream, oatmeal stout chocolate brownie, and hot fudge.
Cinder Block’s Northtown Native, a California common similar to lager, is light with a crisp finish. It’s perfect for savoring with steamed mussels in mildly spicy green curry or washing down fried calamari with mango-chile mojo and lime aioli at Jax Fish House.
Try a light KC Pils from Boulevard with Rye’s hearty, homestyle fixings like the pulled pork sandwich with slaw and fries or famous fried chicken. Boulevard’s Tank 7, a farmhouse saison with floral aroma, is versatile enough to pair with Bluestem bar menu items such as whipped ricotta with peas, fava beans, lemon and herbs; the charcuterie board, or hanger steak with chimichurri and fries.
Martin City Brewing Company’s Hard Way IPA is an East Coast-style IPA with prominent citrus flavor and aroma and toasted malt balanced by hops. Enjoy a pint at Charlie Hooper’s with shrimp and lobster mac-and-cheese, Buffalo chicken wings, or BLT with smoked Gouda and sriracha aioli on triple-stacked farm-to-market sourdough.
Tapcade in the Crossroads rotates taps but regularly offers locally brewed beers on draft. Torn Label’s Hang’em High IPA with piney hops and smooth malt holds up to the poutine, New Mexican burrito with Hatch green chilies, and even spinach-artichoke quesadilla.
Unsure about your beer-and-food pairing palate? Ask a server for tried-and-true recommendations before exploring the possibilities of flavor one pint at a time.