Hitting the Ground Running

Four Unique Beer Styles and What to Pair with Them

When it comes to craft beer, there are certain styles that seem to get all of the glory—like IPAs (India Pale Ales) and wheat beers. Thus, when you run across a beer of a more unique variety, you don't always know what to expect from it or what foods to pair it with. To that end, here's a look at four less common craft beer styles and the foods you should eat alongside them.


Doppelbocks are strong, German, lager-style beers. They are generally quite high in alcohol and are known for their malty tones. Some are more amber in color while others are darker, thanks to the inclusion of some roasted barley. If you come across a doppelbock, make sure you pair it with milder foods that don't overwhelm the spirit of the beer. Creamy cheeses, like havarti, will bring out the more sour notes in the beer. Chicken dishes pair well with doppelbock if you're eating a meal.


Hefeweizens are a special class of German wheat beers known for their aromatic flavors. Some have underlying clove and ginger flavors, while others are more fruity, boasting slight notes of apple or citrus. Many craft hefeweizens are quite yeasty, and thus they are best paired with tangy and sweet foods that cut this yeasty flavor. A simple fruit platter of oranges, melon, and berries is a good choice if you're looking for something light and refreshing. For a more filling food pairing, try enjoying Hefeweizen with a seafood dish, such as salmon or shrimp.


A Belgian style, Tripel beer is made with three times the malt of most ales. They tend to be light-bodied beers, similar to pilseners, but they have foamy, dense heads. Tripels tend to be quite high in alcohol, and they have a touch of hoppiness behind their malty undertones. Thus, they pair well with the same foods you'd enjoy with an IPA: potent cheeses like blue and sharp cheddar and hearty meats like burgers and steaks.


English barleywines are becoming more common in American craft beer making, and they are some of the strongest beers available. Boasting a bittersweet taste, barleywines are complex and lively, often boasting many subtle nuances and flavors. Enjoying this beer with something starchy, like bread and butter or some crackers, will keep your palate from becoming overwhelmed. Creamy cheeses, like havarti and jack, also pair well with barleywines.

The next time you run across one of these beer styles on a menu, don't skip it because you've never tried it. With these food pairings in mind, prepare to explore something new. The world of beer is ever expanding, and venturing beyond the standard IPA or wheat beer ensures you experience it to the fullest. Try exploring the stock of a supplier like Hoboken Beer & Soda Outlet for more choices.