Beer has long been known as a great enhancement to food. Whether used as an ingredient in a recipe or served as an accompaniment to a meal, beer can enrich the flavor of almost any dish. And vegetarian meals are no exception.
John Schlimm, award-winning author of such cookbooks as The Tipsy Vegan and Grilling Vegan Style is a fifth-generation member of the Straub family, one of the oldest brewing families in the U.S. and local to Pennsylvania. Schlimm, the great-great-grandson of Peter Straub, is an expert when it comes to plant-based food and beer pairings. While researching and compiling the 325+ recipes and pairings in his latest cookbook The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour, Schlimm says,
“What I ultimately discovered in my research is just how versatile beer is – in its many styles – for pairing with just about every food out there (short of maybe cereal) as both a sidekick and often as an unexpected and fun ingredient!”
Grab Schlimm’s book for some great tips, and in the meantime, check out a few of Draught Line’s picks for the perfect veggie-based dishes and beer pairings.
Burgers and beer are a classic pairing. With ingredients like garden vegetables, mushrooms and black beans, veggie burgers pair well with beers that feature light malt and hop notes, like American pale lagers. Guinness Blonde American Lager, Straub American Lager and Firestone Walker Lager are all smooth and flavorful beers that won’t overpower your burger.
Middle Eastern cuisine has a distinctive taste that is the perfect match for a saison. The unique spices used in falafel are wonderfully enhanced by a fruity, spicy saison. Enjoy these ultra-flavorful fritters with Allagash Saison, Unibroue A Tout le Monde or Peak Ginger Saison.
SWEET POTATO FRIES
Loaded with flavor, sweet potato fries are an American perennial favorite. A hefeweizen with low hop bitterness and notes of clove and banana will bring out the best of this comfort food. Try Evil Genius I Love Lamp, UFO Hefeweizen or Hacker-Pschorr Weisse for an impeccable pairing.
BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER BITES
To tackle the intense, spicy flavor of the Buffalo sauce, you’ll need a hoppy beer. A crisp IPA like Great Lakes Commodore Perry, 21st Amendment Down to Earth or Dogfish Head 60 Minute will cut right through the heat. Bonus: IPAs also pair well with the blue cheese served with all things Buffalo.
When pairing chocolate and beer, reach for a full-bodied brew, with malty sweetness. Doppelbock is a very food-friendly style. With notes of chocolate & caramel, and minimal hoppiness, it’s a perfect match for decadent chocolate. Abita Andygator, Paulaner Salvator Double Bock and Birra Moretti La Rossa provide a sweet and savory experience.
VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS IN PHILADELPHIA
Vedge, 1221 Locust St.
Restaurant serving inventive vegan & vegetarian small plates in a charming old mansion.
V-Street, 126 S 19th St.
Vegan riffs on global street food served in small wood-and-brick space with a bar & kitchen counter.
Wiz Kid, 124 S 19th St.
Hip, colorful counter-serve for vegan cheesesteaks & sandwiches, plus beer, wine & cocktails.
Charlie Was a Sinner, 131 S 13th St.
Vegan cafe/bar dishing up creative, plant-based small plates & drinks in a sexy, dark environment.
Bar Bombón, 133 S 18th St.
Snug spot serving vegan arepas, tacos & empanadas, plus a take-out window for java, juices & more.
Tattooed Mom, 530 South St.
Relaxed hipster bar with food & drink specials and pool tables, plus toys & candy on the bar.
WEB EXTRA: Three-Bean Vegan Beer Chili
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 bell peppers, any color
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 15 oz. can chic peas
- 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 2 14.5 oz. cans stewed sliced tomatoes
- 12 oz. stout beer, try Guinness Draught Stout or one of these
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
First, prep your veggies. Dice the onion, chop the bell peppers and mince the garlic. Add the onions to a large pot with olive oil over medium heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the peppers and garlic. Open, drain and rinse all of the beans. Pour into the pot. Open the stewed tomatoes, and, using kitchen scissors, cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Add the tomatoes (juice and all) to the pot. Stir. Sprinkle on all of the seasoning. Pour in the beer. Stir and bring to a boil. Taste. Adjust seasonings to your desired level of salt, sweet, and spicy. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. (Or more because chili is like soup- the longer it cooks, the better it tastes!)
-Recipe courtesy of FOODAGRAMBER