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The Beer Circle » Beer Pairing, Dogfish Head, Mikkeller, Tröegs Brewing Co. » Unlikely Pairings: Music

Unlikely Pairings: Music

You’ve probably seen plenty of recommended pairings with food when you read a beer description, but do we have to stop there? In this post, I begin a new column called “Unlikely Pairings.” This goes beyond the conventional food/beer pairing and inspects the less common couplings with you brew.

Music almost always is around you when enjoying a drink; whether you’re in the bar, at a party, maybe even as background noise while you write tasting notes. Just like beer, there are musical “tastes” and styles that differentiate one from another. So, all that is left is to attempt to match a beer style with a musical one. Here’s my take on a few:

Classical – Lager

Lager is a staple beer style you will find offered by nearly every brewery, going back to our German roots. The sames goes for classical music. Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach are some of the most classic German classical composers who are still popular to this day. The modern musical genres all have their respects for those German innovators of the 18th century. Similarly, I’m sure many breweries owe a great deal to the early brewmasters that created the Lager style. “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” meets Eine Gute Bier.

Country – Unfiltered Wheat

Grainy like the Midwest, nothing speaks better to the music of the farmlands flowing with wheat like a style that includes the most tones of what they grow. It takes away the “refined” taste of filtered beer, reminding me of the typical twang sounds commonly incorporated in country tunes.

Jazz – Stout/Porter

Jazz music is known for some thick yet smooth sounds. This only makes sense with the typical stout or porter. Jazz, like many porters and stouts I have tried, breaks away from some of music’s conventional rules. It typically uses a swing tempo, and stouts and porters play with adding in vanilla, coffee, and oatmeal, and even coffee made with civet poop! To be even more specific on a beer pairing, Dogfish Head brewed their Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew as a tribute to the 40th anniversary of Davis’ same-titled album.

Rock – Pale Ale

International Bass Units! If we consider IBUs to line up with Bass power, I think we could best match this family style with Rock music. A fairly common style in popular music, IPA styles are becoming just as common in the bar scene. Rock speaks in loudness and intensity, which are common describers for reviewing these hoppy ales. When I get around to trying Heaven & Hell, I might listen to some Van Halen’s Runnin’ with the Devil.

These are just a couple of my general pairings, and obviously does not marry all styles of music with all beer types. What do you think? Are there any brews you think go well with certain tunes? Let us know in the comments!

Train and Tröegs? Sounds (and tastes) good to me!

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Written by Kenton Martin

Kenton is a Southeast PA native who began diversifying his beer tastes alongside many of The Beer Circle writers at Zeno’s beerfests in State College, PA. He continues to live in the area and is an avid follower of the local microbreweries – going so far as to try his hand at brewing himself. Initial results have been very successful. Find Kenton Martin on Google Plus

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