What kind of beer is best for corned beef?

Answered by Vince Keith

When it comes to pairing with corned beef, one style that immediately comes to mind is red ales. These beers, such as Smithwicks or Killian's (although the latter is actually a stateside invention), have a wonderful malty character that complements the flavors of the corned beef beautifully.

Red ales are known for their rich, amber color and their balanced combination of sweetness and hop bitterness. They tend to have a medium body, making them a great match for the hearty nature of corned beef. The malty sweetness of the beer helps to enhance the flavors of the beef, while the hop bitterness provides a nice contrast and helps to cleanse the palate.

One of the reasons why red ales work so well with corned beef is their ability to cut through the richness of the meat. Corned beef can sometimes be quite fatty, and the malt sweetness of the beer helps to balance out those fatty flavors, preventing the dish from becoming overwhelming.

In terms of flavor profile, red ales typically offer a combination of caramel, toffee, and toasted bread notes. These flavors can complement the savory, slightly salty flavors of the corned beef, creating a harmonious pairing. The malt-forward nature of red ales also tends to have a slightly sweet finish, which can help to counteract any saltiness in the dish.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious plate of corned beef paired with a pint of Smithwicks during a trip to Ireland. The malty sweetness of the beer worked wonders with the tender, flavorful beef, creating a truly memorable dining experience.

To summarize, when it comes to pairing beer with corned beef, a red like Smithwicks or Killian's can be an excellent choice. The malt sweetness and balanced flavors of these beers complement the richness of the beef, while the hop bitterness provides a nice contrast. So, the next time you have corned beef on your plate, consider reaching for a red ale to enhance your dining experience.