The Perfect Pairing | Best Foods to Pair With Dark Beer

Beer lovers know that a good brew can enhance any meal. Its full-bodied flavor, rich aroma, and velvety texture make it an excellent beverage to enjoy at any time of the day. 

Be it for an exciting evening with friends or a cozy night in, there’s no doubt that a cold glass of beer can add just the right amount of elegance and excitement to your dining experience.

While it may seem like all beers go with any food, pairing them up strategically can make for a truly unforgettable meal. 

For those who favor the rich and complex flavors of dark beer, we’ve compiled a list of the best food to pair with dark beer that will elevate your meal and take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.

In Short - Best Food to Pair with Dark Beer

Smoked Meat, Chocolate, Cheese, Barbecue, Seafood, Char-Grilled Steak, Creamy Soups, Dark Chocolate Cheese, Chili con Carne, Burgers, Charcuterie, Chocolate Cake

14 Best Food to Pair with Dark Beer

1. Smoked Meat 

Dark beer has a robust and bold taste that pairs exceptionally well with smoked meats. The smoky flavor of the meat complements the beer’s roasted and malty notes. 

Dark beer has a robust and bold taste that pairs exceptionally well with smoked meats.

Try pairing your favorite dark beer with smoked brisket, chicken wings, pork ribs, or beef tenderloin.

The spicy and smoky flavor of the dish will bring out the beer’s distinct taste and elevate your taste experience.

Discover More: Delicious Side dishes to Serve with Meat Pies

2. Chocolate

Chocolate and dark beer are a match made in heaven. The sweetness of the chocolate cuts through the beer’s bitterness and enhances its roasted flavors. 


It’s not surprising that many breweries offer chocolate-flavored dark beers. 

If you’re looking for a dessert pairing, try a dark chocolate cake or a chocolate mousse with your favorite dark beer. The combination will leave your taste buds dancing with pleasure.

Explore More: What Dessert Goes well with Beef

3. Cheese

Cheese and beer are a classic pairing, but when it comes to dark beer, some cheese can be the perfect partner.

Hard-aged cheese like cheddar, gouda, or parmesan goes well with dark beer’s bold flavor. The cheese’s saltiness contrasts with the beer’s sweet and roasted notes, creating a harmonic taste.

Enjoy a cheese board with mixed nuts and dark beer, and you’ll have a perfect snack pairing on your hands.

4. Barbecue

Dark beer is the perfect complement to a barbecue feast. The beer’s complexity and bitterness can stand up to the intense flavors of grilled meat, and their smoky aromas complement each other well. 

grilled meat

Pair your dark beer with a platter of barbequed pork ribs, chicken wings or pulled pork, and you’ll have a meal that satisfies all your senses.

5. Seafood

Seafood and beer may not sound like a natural combination, but dark beer can be a surprisingly delicious pairing. Try grilled or roasted seafood, like shrimp, octopus, or fish, and pair it with a dark ale or stout. 

The beer’s roasted and malty flavors go well with the charred and smoky taste of seafood, creating a delightful balance of flavors.

6. Char-Grilled Steak

Nothing complements a luscious dark beer like a succulent cut of steak. A well-charged steak with a pink center has flavors that pair perfectly with the boldness of a dark beer. 

The char on the steak complements the bitterness of the beer, while the rich and juicy flavors of the meat balance the richness of the beer.

7. Creamy Soups

If you’re in the mood for a lighter pairing, a rich and creamy soup is perfect. 

creamy mushroom soup

The creaminess of the soup and the residual sweetness of the vegetables blend incredibly well with the coffee and chocolate notes present in dark beers. 

A frothy stout, in particular, pairs beautifully with creamy soups like tomato soup, mushroom soup, or potato leek soup.

8. Dark Chocolate Cheese

As strange as it may sound, dark beer and dark chocolate cheese make for a heavenly pairing. 

The sharpness of the cheese hit the palate first, followed by the intense bitterness of the chocolate, which culminates in the robust and toasty flavors of the beer. It’s a unique pairing that is sure to impress your guests.

9. Burgers

Burgers go well with dark beer

A well-crafted burger pairs amazingly with an American-style Porter or an Oatmeal Stout due to its chocolatey overtones that match up nicely with the beef and bun.

10. Charcuterie

Salty-cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and soppressata will bring out different flavor profiles when accompanied by a malty Brown Ale or an English Mild Ale.

11. Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

The spiciness of this Latin American classic, Chili con Carne, will be tempered nicely by a robust Bock beer or a Belgian Dubbel-style brew that offers hints of dark fruit flavors beneath its smoothness. (Recipe)

12. Pizza

Not only does pizza go great with any kind of beer, but it also pairs especially well when accompanied by an India Pale Ale (IPA).

pizza go great with any kind of beer

The bitterness of hops helps cut through the richness of pepperoni slices while bringing out subtle flavors in the crust as well!

13. Cheese Platter

Cheese plates are always enhanced when served alongside a hoppy Imperial Stout or Black IPA.

These beers offer complementary notes to mild cheeses like Brie and Gouda while accentuating sharp varieties such as cheddar and blue cheese too!

14. Chocolate Cake

Sweet desserts such as chocolate cake are even better when served alongside an Imperial Stout, which has been aged on cacao nibs.

Chocolate Cake

This combination brings out both sweetness and bitterness to create an unbeatable contrast in flavors!

These food pairings with dark beer will enhance your dining experience and help you discover different flavor profiles.

Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast or just looking to try something new, these dishes are sure to tantalize your taste buds!

Wrap Up

When it comes to pairing food and beer, everyone’s taste profile should be taken into consideration. Different people have different preferences, and that’s what makes pairing so fun.

Try pairing it with smoked meat, chocolate, cheese, barbecue, or seafood, and you’ll have a taste experience that you won’t soon forget. 

The tips above can give you a headstart in some of the best ways to pair dark beer with food. But always experiment, take risks, and try out different pairings until you find what works best for you.

Remember, a good pairing can enhance the flavors of both the beer and the food, creating a memorable dining experience that you will cherish for years to come.

So, go ahead, experiment and discover the perfect pairing that suits your taste buds.


What flavor doesn’t go well with dark beer?

Typically, dark beers have more intense flavors and, as a result, pair best with food that has bold flavor profiles. 

Some flavors that don’t go well with dark beer include overly sweet or fruity ingredients like honey, orange juice, and mangoes. 

Additionally, acidic ingredients such as lemon and lime can be too sharp in comparison to the intensity of a dark beer’s flavor. The same goes for strong spices like nutmeg or cayenne pepper. 

Instead of these ingredients, opt for items like chocolate and caramel to complement your dark beer.

As long as you balance out the sweetness of the beer with other complimentary flavors, your pairing will be sure to please!

Leave a Comment