The Best Beers to Enjoy with Chicken Wings

Chicken wings and are the ultimate combination for any gathering or game day event. The crispy, flavorful wings paired with a refreshing, cold beer create a winning combination that is sure to please everyone. But with so many types of chicken wings and beers available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect pairing.

When it comes to chicken wings, there are various flavors to choose from – buffalo, barbecue, teriyaki, and many more. Each flavor has its own unique characteristics that can influence the choice of beer.

For classic buffalo wings, which are known for their spicy and tangy flavor, American style pale ales and IPAs are the way to go. These beers have a bracing bitterness that can stand up to the heat of the buffalo sauce. They also have juicy, citrusy hop flavors that complement the flavors of the wings. The hoppy bitterness of these beers helps to cleanse the palate after each bite, making them a perfect match for buffalo wings.

If you prefer barbecue wings, which have a sweet and smoky flavor, you'll want to choose a beer that can stand up to the bold flavors. A brown or a porter would be a great choice. These beers have a rich, malty backbone that can complement the sweetness of the barbecue sauce. The roasted flavors in these beers can also enhance the smoky notes in the wings, creating a harmonious pairing.

For those who enjoy Asian-inspired wings, such as teriyaki or sweet and sour, a crisp and refreshing or pilsner would be an excellent choice. These light, clean beers won't overpower the delicate flavors of the wings, allowing the Asian-inspired sauces to shine. The effervescence of these beers can also help to cut through the richness of the wings, making them a refreshing choice.

When it comes to beer selection, it's important to consider personal preferences as well. Some people may prefer a lighter beer, such as a wheat beer or a blonde ale, while others may lean towards a more hop-forward beer, like an . Ultimately, the goal is to find a beer that complements and enhances the flavors of the wings, creating a memorable and enjoyable dining experience.

In addition to beer, there are also a variety of tasty side dishes that can accompany chicken wings. Some popular choices include bacon cheddar Hasselback potatoes, elotes-style corn, Italian pasta salad, miso mashed potatoes, Greek yogurt coleslaw, corn and zucchini fritters, homemade seasoned French fries, and spicy hot honey sauce. These sides provide a delicious and satisfying accompaniment to the flavorful wings, adding variety and depth to the meal.

Chicken wings and beer are a match made in heaven. The bold flavors of the wings paired with the refreshing qualities of beer create a winning combination that is sure to please any crowd. Whether you prefer classic buffalo wings, barbecue wings, or Asian-inspired wings, there is a beer out there that can enhance and complement the flavors. So the next time you're planning a gathering or game day event, be sure to have plenty of chicken wings and beer on hand for a truly satisfying experience.

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What Beer Is Best With Chicken Wings?

When it comes to pairing beer with chicken wings, there are a few styles that work particularly well. American style pale ales and IPAs are often considered the best options. Let me explain why:

1. Bitterness: Both pale ales and IPAs have a bracing bitterness that can complement the flavors of chicken wings. The bitterness helps cut through the richness of the meat and the sauce, providing a refreshing contrast.

2. Hop flavors: These beer styles are known for their hop-forward profiles, which often feature juicy, citrusy hop flavors. These flavors can enhance the overall taste experience of chicken wings, adding an extra layer of complexity and freshness.

3. Defense and offense: The hop bitterness in pale ales and IPAs can act as a defense against the spiciness of the sauce, helping to cool down your palate. At the same time, the hop flavors can also play offense, harmonizing with the flavors of the wings and enhancing the overall enjoyment.

4. backbone: While both styles are hop-focused, IPAs typically have a bit more sweet malt backbone compared to pale ales. This sweetness can help counterbalance the saltiness of the chicken wings, creating a harmonious flavor combination.

To summarize, American style pale ales and IPAs are excellent choices for pairing with chicken wings due to their bitterness, hop flavors, and malt backbone. The bitterness can cut through the richness and spice, while the hop flavors and sweetness enhance the overall taste experience.

What Alcohol Goes With Chicken Wings?

When it comes to selecting the perfect to pair with chicken wings, there are a few factors to consider. The flavor profile of the wings, particularly the level of spiciness, as well as the sauce used, will play a role in determining the ideal choice.

1. Pale Ale: A pale ale is a great option to complement chicken wings. Its hop bitterness and malty sweetness provide a balanced taste that pairs well with the subtle heat of the wings. The carbonation in the pale ale also helps cleanse the palate after each bite.

2. IPA: For those who prefer a stronger and more hop-forward beer, an IPA (India Pale Ale) can be an excellent choice. The hoppy bitterness of an IPA can stand up to the bold flavors of spicy wings, enhancing the overall experience.

3. Riesling: If you prefer over beer, a like Riesling can be a fantastic pairing with chicken wings. Riesling's light sweetness and refreshing acidity help to counterbalance the spiciness of the wings while providing a citrusy flavor that complements the sauce.

4. Citrus-infused : Another option to consider is a citrus-infused cocktail. The acidity and fruity flavors of drinks like margaritas or mojitos can cut through the richness of the wings and provide a refreshing contrast.

Remember, personal preferences may vary, and it's always a good idea to experiment with different beverages to find the perfect pairing for your taste buds.


Chicken wings and beer make for a perfect pairing that satisfies both the taste buds and the soul. The rich and flavorful wings, with their crispy skin and tender meat, are elevated by the tangy and spicy buffalo sauce. The addition of a cold and refreshing beer enhances the overall dining experience, providing a balance of flavors that complement and contrast with the boldness of the wings.

When it comes to choosing the right beer to accompany chicken wings, American style pale ales and IPAs are the top contenders. These beers offer a bracing bitterness that can stand up to the heat and intensity of the buffalo sauce. Their citrusy and hoppy flavors add a juicy and aromatic dimension to the pairing, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the meal.

Both pale ales and IPAs have a sweet malt backbone that can counter the saltiness of the chicken wings, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. The carbonation in beer also helps to cleanse the palate, preparing it for the next delicious bite of wings.

Alternatively, white wines such as Riesling can also be a great choice to accompany chicken wings. With their sweetness, acidity, and citrusy notes, they provide a refreshing and palate-cleansing contrast to the spicy buffalo sauce.

In addition to the beer or wine, there are numerous tasty side dishes that can accompany chicken wings. From bacon cheddar hasselback potatoes to elotes-style corn and homemade seasoned French fries, these sides add variety and texture to the meal, creating a well-rounded dining experience.

Whether you're enjoying chicken wings at a sports bar, a backyard barbecue, or a casual night in, the combination of wings and beer is a winning choice. The bold flavors of the wings and the refreshing qualities of the beer create a dynamic and satisfying pairing that is sure to please any food and beverage enthusiast. So, grab a plate of wings, crack open a cold beer, and indulge in the deliciousness that this classic combo has to offer.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.