Beer Pairings

Foie Gras Custard Brûlée

Foie Gras Custard Brûlée

Foie Gras Custard Brûlée

Dogfish Head Midas Touch Golden Elixir, Milton, Del.

This dish, one of McClain’s most celebrated, is served with Bing cherries, toasted cocoa nibs and a salted brioche bun, and has some shaved foie gras torchon on top of it. The classic pairing with foie gras is a Sauternes, a sweet wine from Bordeaux. This beer—brewed with honey and saffron, plus Muscat grapes—has a natural sweetness and aroma perfect for the dish, as well as a dry finish. The Muscat component is aromatic, and the 9.2 percent alcohol content stands up to the richness of the dish.

Duck-Fat Roasted Heirloom Beets

St. Feuillen Saison, Belgium

This farmhouse ale is brewed in late fall, in order to serve it to farmhands in summer. There is 30 percent wheat in the mash, giving it lightness, and it is naturally dry and spicy, with a hoppy finish that marries well with the earthy quality in the beets. The beets are plated with Ibérico ham, crescenza cheese foam and toasted pecans. The hops in this beer are herbaceous, almost savory, and thus ideal for these accompaniments.

Sweet Corn Tortelloni with Lobster Mushrooms, Pancetta and Swiss Chard

Duvel, Belgium

“Belgian beers work well with food,” Shetler says, “because they are rich and therefore a match for rich food.” This beer has a clean, creamy texture and is naturally effervescent. The dish has a corn coulis that is finished with cream and mascarpone cheese, so it coats the tongue. It takes an effervescent brew like this to clear the palate.

Maine Day Boat Scallops with Braised Oxtail, Wild Mushrooms and a Salted Caramel Reduction

Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel, Chico, Calif.

This is a limited-release beer that benefits a monastery in Vina, Calif. Proceeds from sales are helping the brothers build their new chapter house. The beer is 7.5 percent alcohol and has a caramelly malt in the mash. The natural sweetness plays with the maltiness in the beer, and goes well with the oxtail component, which gives the dish an almost roast-beef-like quality.