The Institute of Food Technologists (I.F.T.) recently wrapped up its annual meeting and food exposition last week in Chicago. During a July 18 presentation, Keith Villa of Blue Moon Brewing Company offered insight into how to choose a beer to accompany different dishes on a menu.

Here are some of his recommendations, courtesy of I.F.T:

  • Holiday beers, such as those brewed with cinnamon, with barbecue, French toast, and vanilla and apple desserts.
  • A Belgian white, which his company makes, with poultry, pork, and seafood dishes and spicy meals like Buffalo-style chicken wings, Mexican food, and Thai fare.
  • Fruit beers, such as a Belgian-style raspberry brew, with game dishes and desserts.
  • An amber ale or an Imperial Irish red ale with steak. They can enhance the taste of a steak dinner because the carbonation and acidity of the beer cuts through the fat of the steak, allowing you to experience a lot of flavor on your palate, Villa says.

During his presentation, Villa said that the culinary world has evolved to accept beer as a substitute for wine in pairing with all types of cuisine.