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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: jeffy on April 22, 2011, 12:26:57 AM

Title: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: jeffy on April 22, 2011, 12:26:57 AM
A friend of mine co-owns a Thai restaurant and is planning on expanding.  He has asked me to recommend some beers that would both complement the food and sell well.  He will have the usual Thai and oriental beers plus the macro/lite beers on hand in bottles. 
What styles of beer would you chose to go with Thai food?
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: jaybeerman on April 22, 2011, 12:49:19 AM
i like saison and IPA, but it's hard to go wrong.  even malty brown ale is good with thai
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: dannyjed on April 22, 2011, 12:53:45 AM
I always like IPA's with spicy food...well, I like IPA's with any food.  Also, Thai food can be very colorful, so I say they should have a range of colors for the beer choices as well.
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: tschmidlin on April 22, 2011, 04:01:52 AM
I agree with the IPA or a nice hoppy pale ale.  There is a local brewery here that makes a ginger pale ale that goes great with Asian food, I'm sure they're not in that market but if you can find something like that around there it pairs very well. 
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: morticaixavier on April 22, 2011, 05:23:18 AM
+1 on the saison. I think it pairs with thai better than any beer/food combo I have had with the possible exception of RIS and creme brulee.

I don't know about an IPA, maybe but some less hoppy pale ales might be good.
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: richie17higgins on April 22, 2011, 10:02:51 AM
Hope the following links will help your friend to decide which beer to serve with Thai food:

http://www.beer-universe.com/beer-education-article/2011-01-05/Thai-Food-and-Beer-Found-In-Jackson-Hole-Thai-Me-Up/
http://kissied.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/city-beer-basil-thai-food/
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: jeffy on April 22, 2011, 11:28:48 AM
I have always liked German Pils with Thai food and agree that Saison makes an excellent pairing.
 
I am surprised at how many of you recommend IPA's - I'll have to sit down and try that.  It seems to me that it would tend to overwhelm the food.  Of course it can stand up to the spices, but not the food itself, no?
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: tumarkin on April 22, 2011, 12:46:27 PM
I've always found that Saison and Bier de Garde are excellent table beers. They pair well with a wide variety of foods. I agree with the IPA choice too. I would avoid the true hop monsters unless it's a really spicy dish, but a more balanced IPA would work well. Oriental beers are almost all German influenced lagers - think Singha or Tsingtao. So a good pilsner would be a reasonable choice. A wit might pair well with some of the more delicate dishes.

While these might be some of the better (more obvious) pairings, don't be limited. There are so many styles that might work well. Try various combinations & see what you like.
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: nicneufeld on April 22, 2011, 02:06:31 PM
Thai food is one for which its almost hard to pick a bad beer.

Personally I think my inclination would be for something low ABV, sessiony...even 3.5 to 4 percent, because it can take a good bit to drink to squelch a fire of birdseye chilies!  But that's more if I was pairing at home.  For a restaurant, the winners will be the German/international pilsner (which is loosely speaking what most tropical climate countries brew nearly exclusively so there's some association), IPA is always a winner in this country, or maybe some variety of Belgian.  But my very personal preference would be an English ordinary bitter...possibly in substantial quantity!  :D
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: Beer Monger on April 22, 2011, 02:18:24 PM
I'll add to the chorus of voices singing the praises of IPAs with spicy food.   8)
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: majorvices on April 22, 2011, 03:06:41 PM
I vote for my Belgian White ale which is brewed with lime leaves and fresh grated ginger in place of coriander and orange peel. Of course, you can never really go wrong with IPA for just about anything.  ;D
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: Beer Monger on April 22, 2011, 03:08:34 PM
I vote for my Belgian White ale which is brewed with lime leaves and fresh grated ginger in place of coriander and orange peel. Of course, you can never really go wrong with IPA for just about anything.  ;D

What can I say?  The man speaks the truth!   8) 
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: gordonstrong on April 23, 2011, 06:39:21 PM
i like saison and IPA, but it's hard to go wrong.  even malty brown ale is good with thai

+1 Those would have been the first three I would have suggested.

It also depends on the Thai dish.  They don't all have the same flavor profile.  Not all are screaming hot.  Do you have any dishes in mind that need pairing?  Hoppy/bitter beers will accentuate the heat.  That's OK if that's what you want.  People might also want them cooled down a bit; that's where you need malty.

I also remember trying a beer from the Bruery that I think had thai basil in it.  I'd definitely try to get that one.  The Jasmine IPA from the PNW would also be interesting.

Vienna and English Brown beers always seem to go well with food, especially if there are caramelly flavors involved.  I think I'd like a brown ale of some sort with the Pad See Ew that I've been all over recently.

The Brewmaster's Table is a great book for discussing food pairings.
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: jeffy on April 23, 2011, 07:44:12 PM
Thanks for all the input so far.
It's for a restaurant.  My friend and I went over all the distributors' lists to see what's available, but I'd prefer to stick with local first, then craft, then import.  He has room to get a case each of whatever we decide, up to a point.  No draught.  Some of these cases are twice as much money as others.
Brewmaster's Table recommends German Wheat, then Saison, then Pale Ale.
So, for local, we can get St. Somewhere Saison Athene in big bottles.  We can get Cigar City Jai Alai IPA and and a less aggressive IPA from Cold Storage.  I recommended Prima Pils, probably the freshest German Pils we can get in this part of the world.  Either Hoergarden or Blue Moon or both - people may buy more of the latter if they're not into craft beer and he wants to at least consider sales.
I added Blue Point Toasted Lager and Terrepin Rye to his list because I'd probably order those with Thai food.
I wish there was a good fresh Weizen around here.
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: theoman on April 24, 2011, 05:28:21 PM
A Flemish red is my style of choice with Thai food, especially if shrimp is involved.
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: jeffy on April 26, 2011, 11:54:01 AM
My friend bought some examples of beers and invited my wife and me to the restaurant last night to try out some combinations.

Here's the food: Nam Sod pork salad, Chicken Panang red curry with peanuts, Crab Rangoon, Chicken Pad Thai, Basal Pork, Se Ew beef.  (sorry if I'm not spelling these right).  All were spiced medium.

Here are the beers: Bitburger, Blue Moon, Blue Point Toasted Lager, Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock, St. Somewhere Saison Athene, Ommegang Hennepin, Saison Dupont, Victory Prima Pils, Florida Avenue IPA, Cigar City Jai Alai IPA.

We tried a lot of combinations, but quickly found that the Toasted Lager, Bitburger and Fl Ave. IPA didn't cut it.  The food clearly overwhelmed them.
The Prima Pils went really well with Panang and the Se Ew.
The Hennepin was far better than the other two Saisons with this food at this time, especially good with the Nam Sod salad.
Blue Moon and Crab Rangoon is a nice combination and worked well with almost all of the other food.
The Blonde Bock worked only with the darker, beefier dishes.
Jai Alai IPA was also very nice with the "darker" dishes and stood up well to the curry.

So he's decided to have Blue Moon, Hennepin, Prima Pils, and Jai Alai on hand at the restaurant (in addition to the 6 Asian beers, the popular American Megas and Stella.

He had brought out a bottle of Miller Lite in a Vortex bottle, but it was getting late so we decided to save it for another time.
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: gordonstrong on April 26, 2011, 11:57:16 AM
Thanks for tying out with the results.  Too often you have threads like this that leave people hanging wondering how it all turned out.  You know, sort of like getting a recipe from Cat's Meow used to be...
Title: Re: What beer with Thai food?
Post by: euge on April 26, 2011, 05:46:45 PM
I love all those dishes and am glad a pils made the cut. Try suggesting a Czech pils like Rebel or Czechvar as a consideration for the future. These two are fabulous with spicy Asian food.