It’s the rare palette that can enjoy the broad spectrum of craft brews, but we know pioneers along the Beer Frontier are just the types who can sip and nibble among a breadth of disparate tastes, from hoppy & bitter to fruity & flavorful. You’ll probably want to enjoy these picks in separate sessions as they pair so differently, but within each of those sessions you’ll discover a worthy partner to cheeses, desserts, or just the company of friends.
Perrin Blackberry IPA
This seasonal brew combines the tart sweetness of ripened blackberries along with an aromatic floral bouquet of fresh Michigan bittering hops.
Blackberry IPA’s tart sweetness and crisp, dry finish make it an excellent choice with creamy, sweet, and spicy dishes. This 4-course lineup includes flavors that will balance Blackberry IPA throughout an entire meal:
Salad: Dry salad with nuts and cheese.
Entrée: Mango fish tacos
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger
Voodoo Ranger IPA is a medium bodied, golden-bright brew with pine and citrus aromas in the fore that fold into tropical fruit, subtle grassiness, and faint toasted bread malt. It starts out sweet and builds to a perfect bitterness, coating and warming with a clean finish.
American Style IPAs have a prominent hop aroma derived from American hops that can lend floral, citrus and fruity notes. Many are dry-hopped, which gives an additional piney, grassy or resinous varietal-specific aroma and flavor. They have a clean malty sweetness in the background with fruitiness from hops and ale yeast esters. With a medium-dry finish, American IPA’s are intentionally imbalanced towards the lingering bitter hop aroma and flavor, but are never harsh.
Voodoo Ranger is great with nearly anything you like, but will make an excellent partner to goat cheese salad and grilled foods.
Blake’s Grizzly Pear
Blake’s is known for using all natural ingredients and not being overly sweet. Blake’s wanted to stay true to that philosophy while creating a sweeter cider. The answer? Real pear juice and Armada, MI apples. The result is a crisp, semi-sweet hard cider with hints a prickly pear cactus.
Grizzly Pear’s light, crisp profile make it a great choice for fish and chicken served with grilled asparagus. We also like Grizzly Pear in craft cocktails. Try it in this refreshing mixer that features the warm elderflower notes of St. Germain:
Germain Du Pear
• 6 oz Grizzly Pear
• 2 oz St. Germain Liqueur
• 1 Tbsp Grenadine
• Fresh-squeezed lime juice
• Michigan honey
• Raw sugar
1. Dip the rim of a glass in Michigan honey and then roll in raw sugar.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently stir.
New Holland Hoptronix
If you like bitter brews, this one’s for you. Hoptronix one-ups the hops game with eye-popping bitterness. Mosaic hops give this IPA a dark aroma, yet it finishes smooth and crisp. Look citrus and pine aromas with flavor notes of grass and grapefruit.
Try a nice, varied charcuterie and include a touch of salted caramel. We recommend a few stinky cheese, but don’t go overboard or your guests won’t get past the smell to the magic of the pairing. Parmesan? Great. Stilton? Be careful.