For this Beer Issue food column, I began with a moment of silence for the late Trinity Tavern, fomerly The Pour House, where I used to conduct basic beer research. Fortunately, beer and food pairings have apparently been a thing for nearly a decade, so there’s no shortage of opinions. Everywhere from popular men’s magazines to avid Pinterest posters and a chain restaurant’s plastic-encased menu, you’ll find advice (some color-coded) about which beer goes best with your grub. We’re also #blessed that some restaurants have conveniently provided you with the perfect beer and food pairings all in one place.
Case in point: Pouring Glory’s menu is a veritable gold mine of bar-food goodness. The poutine is about as authentic as any you’ll find south of Michigan (which is pretty much Canada in terms of food). Team the poutine with Oak Highlands Brewery’s Freaky Deaky Belgian Triple or a Peticolas Velvet Hammer red ale. The spicy Thai-influenced burger and Korean-spiced tacos could benefit from a partnership with Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s Blonde lager.
Cowtown Brewing is another one of those restaurants whose menu exists to pair with their craft beer. The Rock Island Red or G’Night Vienna lagers play foil to the jalapeño sausage. For the brisket options (and they are legion here), the Cowtown experts recommend a darker beer, like their Imperial Milk Stout.
Cityworks conveniently categorizes its beer menu, so if you’re looking for a particular style, you’ll find it easily. Rabbit Hole Brewing’s Rapture brown ale might party hardy with the barbecue pork ribs. Cityworks offers a few vegetarian/vegan selections as well –– the zing of the spicy-to-the-max Kung Pao cauliflower appetizer is deliciously tamped by the Three Nations Brewing Co.’s German Pale ale.
Arlington’s Tipsy Oak offers several fish entrees, including blackened salmon or cod and fried shrimp, that pair well with New Main Brewing’s Double Victory IPA or Panther Island Brewing’s IPf’nA. Then there’s the Legal Draft Smash & Grab IPA-battered fish and chips. The beer itself isn’t currently on the menu. You could buck tradition and opt for the Martin House Salty Lady sour gose or Rahr’s light, lemony Adios Pantalones –– both will cut through the rich batter and deliciously crispy fries.
The Thirsty Lion Gastropub’s fennel-kissed, beer-steamed shrimp entrée (new on the restaurant’s fall menu) might pair nicely with Rahr’s Dadgum IPA or Dallas’ Community Beer Co.’s Whitbier. I also loved the deep dish porter brownie on the dessert menu – that and a Lakewood Brewing Temptress Nitro make a killer midnight snack.
Arlington’s Dog Haus Biergarten boasts a relatively diverse beer list to complement its dog and braut selections. Beer enthusiasts are not all of one mind when it comes to picking out a pairing for hot dogs. Some recommend an IPA like Division Brewing’s Sticky ’Stache (made literally a few miles up the road), while others recommend a brown ale – perhaps Lone Pint Brewery’s Gentleman’s Relish.
I started to try to pair beer with burgers, but between toppings and seasonings, there are just too many variables. You’ll be happy with the acceptable selection of craft beer at Fred’s Texas Café and the much larger selection at nearby Rodeo Goat.
Finally, what’s better than pizza and beer? Pizza and pilsner are a combo that beer-pairing nerds rave about. Grab a spicy pie at Cane Rosso and some of the Collective Brewing Project’s Commercially Viable, which wins the name game in terms of local craft beer. Hopfusion Aleworks’ fruity, fizzy whitbiers will make some magic with Mama’s Pizza’s semi-legendary thick garlic-cheese bread, and you can bring your pizza into their taproom. At Fort Brewery, the beer menu comes with recommendations for food, so they’ve taken all the guesswork out of pizza and beer pairings.
Of course, if you have a favorite go-to beer, don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t pair with whatever it is that you’re eating.