This question is gathering close votes. However, these kinds of questions seem like they will be common as beer/food pairings are common in recommendation type things.

Are these questions actually based on opinion or are there well established/researched pairings that would make these questions reasonably on topic?

  • possible duplicate of Proposal: [pairing] is a bad tag and should be removed
    – Tom Medley
    Jan 21, 2014 at 21:54
  • 3
    Not a duplicate, although the outcome of that discussion should hinge on this one.
    – Shog9
    Jan 21, 2014 at 22:01
  • 4
    FWIW, pairing questions are allowed to some extent on Seasoned Advice; in practice, food/drink pairing hasn't been a particularly popular topic there however. On the bright side, they haven't taken over the site or caused the sorts of problems that broader "recommendation" questions often do.
    – Shog9
    Jan 21, 2014 at 22:05
  • 2
    I'm no expert, but my understanding is that there is some science involved here. IPAs go with hot-pepper-laden foods because the hop bitterness and spiciness interact well together, for example. With that in mind, I think a limited amount of pairing questions should be welcome.
    – Pops
    Jan 21, 2014 at 22:13
  • 1
    @Pops more specifically, hop bitterness numbs the palate, which allows you to tolerate ever higher amounts of spiciness. Jan 22, 2014 at 0:32

3 Answers 3


Absolutely. As with wine pairings, there are strong cultural norms and rules of thumb that can be followed here - pairing beer with foods represents a definite area of real expertise that deserves to be kept here.

Sure, at the end of the day, what you like is going to be subjective - but there is an art, if not a science to pairing that makes it a legitimate subject area.

If it's important enough for a Ciccerone to be tested on it, I see no reason that we shouldn't want it here.

  • 2
    Would it make sense to restrict these to beer varieties or style requests? The current spate of "what's a good beer" seems to invite near infinite responses not easily rankable within the most compatible styles which will quickly get you deep into highly subjective territory.
    – Jaydles
    Jan 22, 2014 at 5:15
  • I will admit the "what is a good beer to go with X" is kind of getting out of hand...
    – BryceH
    Jan 22, 2014 at 5:16
  • @Jaydles I think thats entirely legitimate. Questions on the principles of pairing are interesting. People asking. "What beer goes with what I have planned for dinner tonight?" Not so much. Nobody else cares. Jan 22, 2014 at 5:28

I think they should be on-topic. Because

  • It is a part of beer consumption so what pairs with X beer type questions are also about beer consumption
  • If we think about basic food categirizing and pairing, It can be accepted not much opinion based. Like, red wine pairs with red meat, beers can be paired with mor egeneralized food categories
  • Also, there will be local flavors, and soon there will be qustions like I will visit Germany and I heard their x beer and I want to tast it on my lunch. What kind of food is paried with that beer type of questions and that will be important. Local flavors in beer and food pairings is important and people will have limited time in tasting them.

So here can became a guide of this too.


I think they can be on topic, but the questions I've seen seem to be kind of trivial and superficial. Example question "What goes good with British style dinners" titled "What's a good beer to have with steak and potatoes?"

I think for it to be a good fit on the site, it should be a little more specific with menu and goals. Take steak... Filet? Porterhouse? NY strip? Ribeye? Sirloin? Seasoning?

Along with that, the "what and the why" of it. I found this example answer on beeradvocate:

I recently paired homemade chili with Stone's Chipotle Smoked Porter.

I'm sure the regular and the vanilla versions would work as well, as the mix of smoke and malt (in taste and texture) were the key components in complementing the spicy food. However, I found the chipotle added a nice roasty heat, so while it quenched your thirst after a spicy bite like a glass of milk might, it imparted just a smidge of heat in the aftertaste to segue into your next chili spoonful... I was surprised a chili and a porter could provide a real pairing experience, akin to a wine pairing.

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