Valentine’s Day; a day Hallmark relishes, a day in which florists and chocolatiers rejoice, a day for lovers, dates, and dinner reservations. Whether you’ve got plans to hit the town or make a romantic dinner at home, you’ll probably need something to drink. Most people probably think of wine when they think of toasting with their special someone on Valentine’s Day but, I’m here to tell you, skip the grape drink and get yourself some Valentine’s Day Beer!
While wine is typically higher in alcohol content and viewed as more sophisticated, beer, with all it’s strengths, is clearly the superior beverage. Beer is more approachable, runs the gamut of flavors which lends to some extraordinary food pairings, and is typically found at a much lower price point. Make no mistake, I’m not suggesting one surprises their significant other with a six pack of Budweiser, instead I’ll be offering a plethora of beer choices under broad categories.
The variety of dinners can be wide so instead of trying to pair specific beers with what one might order or make, here are some general options:
-Have a soft, delicate wheat beer like Hoegaarden with your salad or light fish or chicken dishes! Neither should overpower the other.
-Steak preparation can vary considerably, so it’s hard to nail something down exactly. Grilled, seared, or crusted, shoot for a dark Belgian beer such as Chimay Blue. When draped with blue cheese or any sort of spice heat, grab an IPA (India Pale Ale) like Bell’s Two Hearted. For a twist of mild smoke, pour a Baltic Porter like Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter. Even a nicely roasted American Porter, such as Sierra Nevada Porter, will go well here too.
-The big, juicy hamburger you’re craving deserves an English ESB like Fuller’s ESB or Pale Ale such as Boddington’s Pub Ale.
-Mixing things up with a spicy, possibly Mexican-style dinner? Time to reach for an IPA again. It’s mild-to-strong (depending on the beer) bitterness plays well with the spiciness!
You don’t have to skip chocolate altogether, but instead of indulging all those treats, why not have a chocolatey beer with, or for, dessert?
For him or her that doesn’t care much for typical “beer” flavor, try one of these fruitier alternatives. They can also pair very well with dessert:
Are you alone and bitter about it this Valentine’s Day? Have a beer to match your sour attitude:
In conclusion, the list of beers you could sample from this Valentine’s Day is virtually endless. Cast the thoughtless purchase of red or white wine aside and pair some exquisite beers with your meal and dessert!
P.S. No, actually, I don’t hate wine!