What Kind of Beer Do I Pair With Greek Food?

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The flavors of lemon, garlic, mint and other herbs, the mineral tang of greens and the strong taste of lamb all contribute to Greek food's flavor profile. The islands of Greece are not particularly famous for their beers, but that doesn't mean you can't successfully pair Greek food with great beer -- it just takes a little creative thinking.

Greek Beers

  • Beer imported from Greece can be hard to find, but if you can find it, try it. Pairing Greek food with a beer from that same country is a logical first choice, and since Greek beer is off the beaten path, it provides the opportunity to try something new. Beer from Greece comes in many styles; there's no specific "national style." With a little searching, you'll find one that suits your particular taste, whether pilsner, lager or ale.

Pale Ale

  • Pale ales have a well-rounded flavor -- sweet and malty but with a touch of bitter hops edge. They pair well with a variety of flavors, including those of lamb or just about anything grilled, such as souvlaki. The hops' bitterness also balances rich dishes like moussaka, saganaki or fried foods.

Light Lager

  • Light lagers are a good choice when you want the flavors of the dish you're serving to stand at the forefront and not be overwhelmed by your choice of suds. Thus, they're the perfect match for delicately seasoned foods. In particular, their dry, crisp character pairs well with the lemon and herbal flavors of Greek cuisine.

Pilsner

  • Pilsners have light body and a crisp, hoppy finish; they're perfect when you want something with more body than a light lager but not quite as malty as a pale ale. Serve pilsner alongside a spread of Greek appetizers or meze, with its variety of flavors. Sip the beer between bites to refresh your palate and quench your thirst.

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