Anybody who was around when I first started drinking, would've never predicted that I'd eventually settle into the shoes of a "beer person". Mostly because the first lap of my alcohol journey was marked by a serious soft-spot for spirits. I remember taking an embarrassing amount of pride, in my ability to guzzle down shot after shot of undiluted liquor, without so much as making a face. It was almost like I was trying to teach my liver a lesson.
So I thank my stars for introducing me to the wonders of beer, before I became a full-fledged raging alcoholic. Suddenly, the short-lived charm of neat vodka, didn't seem worth the trade-off. It could also have to do with my inclining age and diminishing capacity, but the day finally arrived. The day I picked the happy high of a couple of pints, over the frenzied rise and crash of neat spirits. And I haven't looked back since.
TLDR; I love beer.
You know what I also love? Snacking to my heart's content while I'm nursing a cold one. But as I'm sure you'd know if you like beer as much as I do, not every dish pairs well with our beloved ale. Especially messy food, or preparations that demand both your hands. Also, the spectrum of an ill-fit between your choice of poison and snack, ranges from, "hmm, that tastes funky" to "can you please call an ambulance?". That's not a chance worth taking, my friend. Especially, when we're here with a list of options that will lead to neither. On the contrary, these dishes will enhance the fabulous flavour of your beer, while satiating your appetite for actual food. Curious? Well, let's get a move on our guide to the best snacks to pair with a pint.
1. Onion Rings
These crispy, golden rings of flavour make for a great accompaniment to the malty sweet and hoppy bitter profile of a beer. Onion rings have always been a classic choice of appetiser, but when you're sipping on a beer alongside, the crunchiness of the deep-fried onions and their mouthwatering batter coating accentuates the grainy complexity of a good pitcher. To top it all off, they're incredibly easy to find at your favourite bars.
Image Courtesy: Recipe Fairy
2. Crispy Chilli Baby Corn
The fiery flavours of this beloved desi Chinese appetiser will be quick to perk up your beer session with the gang. Diced baby corn, deep-fried till crispy and nibbly, and then tossed in a mix of sweet-spicy sauce coupled with assorted veggies, packs a tasty punch in itself. But with the addition of a bold-tasting lager beer, the zing of the dish becomes even more pronounced.
Image Courtesy: VegeCravings
3. Tawa Paneer Tikka
Smoky, spiced paneer and delicious light beer are a match made in snacking heaven! Especially if you're a vegetarian, paneer tikka is one of those classic appetiser choices that will never let you down. Particularly, light lagers and blonde ales tend to pair remarkably well with the savoury tang of Indian food, and this one is no different.
Image Courtesy: Chanazorgaram
Also Read: 10 Unique Aloo Dishes You Can Whip Up With Ease
4. Galouti Kebab
We're yet to discover a feeling as satisfying as some well-cooked, delicately seasoned Galouti Kebabs, melting in your mouth at the first bite. Did you know, that this delicious minced goat and papaya deliciousness, was originally meant for a Nawab in Lucknow? Suffice it to say, the regal blend of flavours in the dish bears testimony to this origin story.
Image Courtesy: Medium
5. Cajun Spiced Potato Wedges
We're not going to paint a false picture here, we have a very low tolerance for spice. But the fact that we still can't stop gorging on spicy food packed with fiery flavours, proves just how addictive the taste can be. Light lagers and pale ales including IPA, will go down smoothly with the intense kick of Cajun seasoning, so mixing the spice with the crowd-favourite fare of potato wedges is a brilliant choice.
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6. Loaded Nachos
Nachos and beer are a classic food-alcohol couple and it continues to be a safe choice to fall back on when you don't feel like trying something risky. The melange of Mexican flavours in a bowl of Nachos complements the bitter blend in darker beer varieties fantastically. And when you add a generous helping of scrumptious toppings like cheese, olives, salsa and diced chicken to the mix, it's enough to get you drooling from afar.
Image Courtesy: Ready Set Eat
7. Peanut Salad
The OG chakna for all alcoholic intents and purposes, some delicious masala-rich peanut salad, is a perfect tidbit to throw in with sips of chilled beer. Peanuts can actually make the drink taste even better. The saltiness in the snack balances the bitter flavour of your beer, making it easier to guzzle down.
Image Courtesy: Archana's Kitchen
Also Read: 5 Homemade Twists To Your Favourite Tikki
8. Masala Papad Topped With Salad
We think it's safe to say that we've ventured into the territory of true beer snack classics, so excluding Masala Papad, would be a total sin. The delicious Indian papad is one of the most reached-for nosh options, whether by itself, along with a heavy meal, or an icy cold tumbler of some refreshing beer. Roasted papad loaded with a sweet and tangy mixture of sev, chopped veggies, sauce and coriander is perfect for those beer sessions when your appetite for food isn't particularly large.
Image Courtesy: Reddit
9. Jalapeno Poppers
Have we mentioned we love spicy food? To get yourself a kick in more ways than just from chugging the beer in your hand, we'd wholeheartedly suggest you pair it with a batch of Jalapeno poppers. If you've never tried this dish before, trust us when we endorse the delightful taste of some jalapenos stuffed with the gooey batter of herbed cheese and aromatic spices.
Image Courtesy: MyRecipes
Do we even need to say anything here? All the fans already know, that what chicken wings are to beer, is what cheese is to wine. How about giving the classic American snack a flavoursome Indian twist? Sounds interesting? Order on your next chug fest.
Image Courtesy: Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder!