Ready to move beyond bar snacks? These four classic food-plus-beer pairings will activate your taste buds. We bet you’ll clean your plate.
Greyhound Tavern Fried Chicken
+ Christian Moerlein OTR Ale
On Mondays and Tuesdays, four pieces of crispy fried chicken—considered the best in town by folks in the know—are served with green beans and ham, mashed potatoes with chicken gravy, savory-sweet-and-creamy cole slaw, and featherweight buttermilk biscuits for a hipster-meets-homestyle mashup. Moerlein’s classic American pale ale brings classic craft beer flavors of malt and citrus to complement the finger-lickin’ bird, not to mention all those comforting sides.
AmerAsia Pepper Steak
+ Mt. Carmel Nut Brown Ale
Fork-tender slices of sirloin and al dente wedges of red, yellow, and green bell pepper stud a sauce rich in hoisin and fermented black beans in an alt-classic pepper steak preparation. Subtle maple and hazelnut notes might seem over-the-top with the hoisin, but this northern English style brown ale actually manages to temper the sweetness of both peppers and sauce and elevate the earthiness of the beans and beef.
Wildflower Café Lobster Cakes
+ MadTree PsycHOPathy
The typical crab cake suddenly looks like old news compared to Todd Hudson’s lobster variation. A delicate crust can barely contain six ounces of pure crustacean decadence, served with a lemon-reisling crème fraîche and a confetti of micro-greens. Psychotically hoppy, as its name suggests, MadTree PsycHOPathy IPA’s bitterness brazenly stands up to the richness. Couldn’t get enough of the appetizer? Still got some beer in your glass? Double down and order the entrée version.
Taste of Belgium Carbonnades à l’OTR
+ Rivertown Helles
Carbonnades may be the Flemish equivalent of humble beef stew, simmered in ale, but TOB’s version is anything but frowzy and arrives garnished with pickled red onion slices and a generous green salad. The bright acid of Rivertown’s lighter lager-style beer—think of it as Budweiser but small batch and closer to home—is the ideal foil for rib-sticking stew, best consumed on a blustery fall evening.
Photographs by Aaron M. Conway / OMS