A Good Combination – IPAs and Asian Food

The beer/food pairing thing doesn’t always work for me. I have tried to make sense of it for a while, but the concepts have eluded me.

But I read up a little bit, and saw that IPAs often go well with spicy Asian foods, such as Chinese, Indian and Thai food.

Keep in mind, I’m not much of a cook so I got these items out of a box and threw them in the microwave, but if they were this good on the cheap stuff, they must be even better with someone who knows how to actually cook themselves.

From the “International” section at Wegmans, I picked up some Thai Peanut flavored noodles and shahi paneer, which is kind of like a tomato curry paste. The noodles have little bits of peanuts and the shahi paneer have small cheese cubes. They look kinda like this:

And the beer I chose was Arcadia IPA, which looks like this:

I have tried this little experiment before with other IPAs, and most of them have been way too hoppy for the spiciness of Asian food. Double IPAs, while great in theory, are usually too over-hopped to pull it off. Two extremes don’t tend to work with my palate.

What was great is that the Arcadia IPA not only has a strong hop — traces of some citrus and pine flavors and a touch of oak add an oily hop characteristic — but the malt backbone turns out to be crucial. The malts are toasted but not burnt, bready but not too dry. It’s a mix of some English malts and American hops, and the balance in this beer stood up to the heavy spices, especially that of the shahi paneer.

So if you have a hankering for some spicy Asian foods, bring home a sixer of Arcadia’s IPA to test out.

~ by William H on July 10, 2009.

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