Spring and summer are great, but my favorite season of all is on the verge of beginning. No, I’m not talking about fall which officially begins in a few weeks. I’m talking about football season. Regardless of which team you root for, chances are that beer will be a part of your football festivities. I want to suggest some beer and food pairings to be enjoyed whether tailgating in the stadium parking lot or hosting friends in the comfort of your home.

The acidity in a tomato-based sauce calls for something crisp and somewhat acidic itself. A pilsner or wheat beer make a nice pairing with a pizza that is full of veggies such as roasted tomatoes. Try pairing with an American pale ale or IPA when loading up on hearty meats. American pale ales and IPAs pair nicely with chicken wings and webfootballbeerhamburgers as well.

I would not choose to pair a hamburger with a stout, however, hamburger patties can benefit from marinating in a dark and malty driven beer such as a stout. Once again a hop driven beer will make for a good pairing with a bacon cheeseburger that is full of an array of flavors. I would consider a hop driven pilsner and wouldn’t be afraid to pair with an imperial IPA.

When pairing beer with ribs and pulled pork sandwiches you should consider a malt driven beer that will complement the slow cooked meat. Abbey style ales, doppelbocks and porters are high on my list. A smoked porter would work nicely in the sauce and then as a pairing to beef or pork ribs. If you’re looking to pair the ribs with a lighter beer you should do so with a lager.

Pairings are subjective so I welcome you all to share some of your favorites!

– Peter Lopez