A lot of people assume that sushi should be taken only with sake. Some say its for a more “oriental feel”, if you will. Their words, not mine. But did you know that even in Japan, sushi is amazing when paired with beer? By the end of the day, you get to pair sushi with whatever you want, but if you want to try something new, or something that aficionados would pair; here are some of our favorites. Yes, for our beer-loving friends, this one is for you.
Beer and Sushi Pairings
Of course, you’d think that the most obvious pairing would be sushi and Japanese beer. Japanese rice lagers are practically designed for the kind of flavors found in, not only sushi, but also other Japanese food. It’s all a matter of what kind of sushi you’re getting and which flavors you prefer. Some of the more common Japanese microbrews are:
o Asahi Super Dry
o Asahi Black
o Kirin Lager Beer
o Kirin Ichiban shibori
o Sapporo Black Label
o Suntory Malt’s
o Orion Draft Beer
o Orion Special
The slight bitterness and flavor of hops in Pilsners, bring out the rich, salty, sweet, and earthy flavors of most sushi, and even brings out the umami of soy sauce. This, with the addition of wasabi’s distinct flavor, the hops just fill your mouth and latch on to the mean but magical flavor and sensation of wasabi. Try a light pilsner like Warsteiner to let the sushi shine, or a maltier Budweiser Budvar or Czechvar for even more balance of flavors. Other Pilsners you can try would be:
Sam Adams Noble Plis: Think very festive and floral combination of flavors in your mouth. This is without overpowering the umami flavors present.
North Coast Scrimshaw: Less bitter flavors and less hops, so you get more sweetness from both the sushi and the beer. It does, however, just the right hint of hops to stand up the saltiness of soy sauce and the spiciness of wasabi.
A Softer Trip
If you’re not into the slightly stronger flavors of hops and malt, try a Kölsch beer for more balance and subdued sushi flavors of salty and sweet. It’s slightly more delicate flavor has a hoppy floral burst, with a kind of fruitiness that you can taste when you take it on its own. Kölsch beers you can take with sushi are:
Sünner Kölsch: Delicately balanced but flavorul and yeasty, which brings out a refreshing fruity flavor when paired with sushi
Goose Island Summertime: Lighter in flavor and slightly fruity compared to pilsner; yet crisper, sharper, with more hops compared to Sünner. Gives a floral burst and fruity softening flavor when paired with sushi
Remember that by the end of the day, sushi and beer are meant to be enjoyed the way you want. Do you have beer or other drinks with your sushi? Let us know in the comments!