There’s no other drink that complements fried chicken better than a good old-fashioned mug of foamy, cold beer.
Despite its simple ingredient list — water, a starch source (usually malted barley), yeast and hops — there is a silent complexity in the art of making good beers.
The difference lies in the preparation process, which could end up with either ales and lagers. Ales are brewed at 15°C to 23°C and are considerably more flavourful. Lagers, on the other hand, are fermented twice, producing a crisper and lighter flavour.
Pair it with the tasty, crunchy, succulent meat of golden-crisp fried chicken, and you got yourself a real treat.
Let’s hop in and indulge in the world of great beers to pair with chicken!
The beer rule of thumb
Food should preferably be paired with beer types that bring out the best of both worlds. Usually, it’s ideal to follow the points below:
- Dark, intense beer pair well with heavy food
- Lighter, less alcoholic beer pairs with lighter food
So there you have it: an over-simplified guide to choosing the right beer for chicken. But if you want to see the best specific pairings that can give you a mouthwatering burst of flavours, read on.
Chicken and other white meats tend to be classified as lighter dishes, making it good with lighter beers. Light beer is less hoppy and has a lower alcohol content compared to darker beers.
So when in doubt, a pale lager, cream ale, American lager, or American light lager would be a great accompanying drink for your fried chicken. If you want to find other great liquors, we suggest visiting online liquor stores like Liquorland to get you started.
With that said, here are the best beers that work well with fried chicken.
A wonderful summertime companion to fried chicken, the pilsner enjoys light malty flavours that can wash down the flavours of the chicken.
The pilsner is pale and light — taking the best parts of pale ale and lager. It has more hops than the lager and is also considerably lighter than a pale ale.
It is a full-bodied beer with a crisp, refreshing taste with a dry-to medium finish. The pilsner also contains a slight hoppy bitterness that works great as a standalone or with chicken.
If you want a harmonious blend of sweetness, bitterness and spiciness for your chicken dish — you can’t go wrong with the pilsner.
For a light beer that pairs incredible with crispy fried chicken, the Munich Helles is a great lunchtime companion.
Helles means “bright” in German, and it is indeed a bright beer that has more malt than the more bitter pilsner.
It has sweet notes with a crisp finish with just the perfect amount of bitter flavour to serve as a good palate cleanser.
It’s also breadier and has toasty notes, sharing nearly the same temperament as fried chicken dipped in breadcrumbs.
With a bubbly carbonated body, and a clear, gentle look, the Munich Helles strikes the perfect notes to bring you to fried chicken paradise.
English Brown Ale
While this beer does not exactly fit the “light beer” rule of thumb from earlier, hear me out.
The English Brown Ale has a comforting malt flavour with a trace of mild bitterness and a hoppy flavour. You can even homebrew it!
The ale has notes of bread, caramel, chocolate, nuts, and raisins. It boasts a sweet palate and a full body.
Its colour fits a more reddish-brown or dark amber look — which is how dark a good beer can go when paired with chicken.
A timeless classic, English Brown Ale and fried chicken have a playful combination that leaves a long-lasting impression.
A complex blend of barrel-aged beer, the Belgian Gueuze produces a sour, dry taste of spontaneous fermented beers.
Aside from its fruity, sweet notes and high acidity, this beer also is exposed to wild yeasts and bacteria as opposed to cultivation from a farm.
This unique blend gives the Belgian Gueuze its distinct set of flavour: dry, vinous, cidery, and often tart.
And with its noisy, bold flavours, the beer may strike some as overwhelming. But trust me; it works marvellously well with fried chicken. One such pair that we suggest is the Belgian Gueuze paired with a plate of crispy chicken skin.
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