Texas Brewpubs Share Their Go-to Menu Pairings

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 10.56.40 AMPart of  the intrinsic appeal of dining at a brewpub comes with the knowledge that both the delectable food and the fresh beer sitting on the table in front of you were handcrafted just feet away under the same roof.

With chefs and brewers working in tandem to produce pints and plates that complement each other’s flavors, brewpubs are a great place to learn about pairing food and beer straight from the source.

So, we decided to ask the experts–Texas brewpub owners, brewers, managers and other staff members, to give us their go-to pairing picks at their respective joints. With picks from 11 brewpubs hailing from all over our great state, there are plenty of pairings to suit various taste-buds and zip codes alike. Try ordering one of the pairings below next time you stop into one of these brewpubs.

Pinthouse Pizza | Austin
Calma Muerta & Hawaiian Pizza

Pinthouse Pizza

Pinthouse Calma Muerta & Hawaiian Pizza -Joe Mohrfeld

“The bright citrus and lemon flavors of our Hoppy Session Ale, Calma Muerta, pair beautifully with the classic combination of Canadian Bacon and Pineapple on this pie. The salty Canadian Bacon keeps all of the citrus elements bright and fresh tasting and the soft grain in Calma Muerta parallels the pizzas crust. For another option try pairing Calma Muerta with 5 more and you will gain an understanding of how truly wonderful a hop forward session ale really is.” –Joe Mohrfeld, Head Brewer

Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub | Fort Worth
Pairing: Roman Empire Bitter & Pizza Con Cipolle

“By far our favorite beer to pair with is the Roman Empire Bitter, an ESB brewed with myrtle.  While not prevalent in the states, myrtle is very common in Carlo’s native Italy and lends an herbaceous aroma and flavor similar to a basil or rosemary. While the beer is very versatile we like to pair it with the  Pizza Con Cipolle, an oil based pizza with red onions and Gorgonzola.  The caramel malt plays nice with the creamy Gorgonzola and the myrtle adds a spicy note that compliments the red onions.” –Adam Gonzales

The Granary | San Antonio
Pairing: “Black IPA” & Buttermilk Chess Pie

The Granary

Granary’s Buttermilk Chess Pie -Alex Rattray

“I love to pair our “black IPA” (we achieve this by mixing half of our Brown Ale with half of our IPA) with our buttermilk chess pie. The pie is fairly sweet so the bitterness from the IPA really helps cleanse and refresh your palette. So each bite of the pie tastes just like the first! The dark coffee and chocolate notes from the Brown Ale when paired with the pie remind me of what it’s like drinking black coffee with dessert. The body of the beer is also light-medium and smooth so it doesn’t over power the fluffy texture of the pie.” –Alex Rattray, Brewer

Double Horn Brewing Company | Marble Falls
Pairing: Sum Dat IPA & Bison Burger

“The hoppiness of the IPA plays well with the rich flavor of the bison as well as the slight spiciness of the Buffalo sauce. Additionally I love hops and bacon together. Two super kicks to the palette!  The dryness of the brew also helps cleanse the palette before you go in for another messy bite, Boom!” –Dusty Knight, Owner

Freetail Brewing Company | San Antonio
Pairing: Rye Wit & Margherita pizza

“The effervescent, lively carbonation of the wit cuts through the richness of fresh mozzarella cheese; the spicy/citrus notes interplay nicely with the tomato and complement the flavor of fresh sweet basil. Both our Rye Wit and all our IPA’s go well with all our pizzas!” –Jason Davis, Head Brewer

North by Northwest | Austin
Pairings: Stuffed Quail Appetizer & Py Jingo Pale Ale | Chocolate Pecan Terrine & Blackjack Ale


NXNW Stuffed Quail & Py Jingo Pale Ale -Kevin Roark

“The quail is stuffed with jalapeno and goat cheese, then wrapped in bacon and grilled and served with a golden raisin polenta and balsamic reduction. It’s one of my favorite dishes at NxNW. It has such an amazing combination of flavors going on. It’s got the spice from the jalapeno, the creaminess of the goat cheese, the smokiness and savory flavor of the quail, the intensity of the balsamic reduction and then the crisp bacon just wraps it all together (literally and figuratively speaking). Pair that with the Py Jingo Pale Ale and you’ll most likely have re-occurring dreams about it. The citrusy hops cut right thru the spice from the jalapeno and the soft, malty body really just brings all the flavors into a harmonious balance. It really is an incredible pairing. Our seasonal IPA’s also go really well with this dish.” –Kevin Roark, Head Brewer

NXNW Chocolate Pecan

NXNW Chocolate Pecan Terrine & Blackjack Ale -Kevin Roark

“The second one is our Chocolate Pecan Terrine paired with our Blackjack Ale. It is a frozen bittersweet chocolate topped with sun-dried cherry and chocolate sauce and is a chocolate lover’s dream. The Blackjack is our Okanogan Black Ale that has been aged in a Jack Daniel’s barrel for 4 to 6 months. The barrel-aging imparts a rich, vanilla, toasty sweetness that compliments the chocolate very well. I’d also recommend our Chocolate Torte with the Blackjack as well.” –Kevin Roark, Head Brewer

Black Star Co-op | Austin
Pairing: Epsilon & Fish and Chips

“The rich, smokey, oaky character of Epsilon goes great with the fresh fish and best chips in town.  This pairing is heavy and filling, so don’t expect to run a marathon afterwards!” –Jeff Young, Head Brewer

The Whip In/ Kamala Brewing | Austin
Pairing: Goat Sliders & Brahmale

“I like to wash down our goat sliders with the Brahmale. Our Post-Colonial IPA packs a great amount of citrus notes and a touch of honey sweetness in the back-end that pair nicely with the Indian spices that we use in our goat mix. Any bitterness from the beer is soothed away by the house-made naan our sliders are wrapped in.” –Anastacia Kelly, Beer Manager

Pecan Street Brewing Company | Johnson City
Pairing: Lamb Burger & County Jail Pale Ale

Pecan Street

Pecan Street Lamb Burger & County Jail Pale Ale -Rachel Kakos

“The lamb burger is special to us because Tim, owner & founder of Pecan Street Brewing, spent time as a youth living in Greece and frequently ate lamb as a kid, and it is still one of his favorite meals as an adult. He insisted there be some type of lamb dish on the menu, and the burger seemed the most synergistic with the vibe of the brewpub.  We’ve found that those who do like lamb and order the burger are really impressed with the flavors, especially the accent of the whipped feta and peperoncinis. We find that the lamb burger goes particularly well with our County Jail Pale Ale.  The smooth hoppiness works with the peperoncini to produce a pleasing heat and cuts nicely through the richness of the lamb patty, scrubbing your palate for another delicious bite. –Rachel Kakos, Marketing Manager

Flix Brewhouse | Round Rock
Beef Avocado Wrap & Lupulus IPA

“Tender skirt steak, which I love, comes together with flavorful, creamy avocado and then the jalapeños bring the heat. It is all wrapped up neatly in a sun dried tomato wrap for mess free eating while you are enjoying your movie. I love spicy food and hops tend to really compliment and sometimes exaggerate chile heat. The full flavor of the Lupulus IPA is the perfect acquaintance to the marinated beef and the avocado softens the whole thing to perfect balance.” –Justin Rizza, Head Brewer

Humperdinks Restaurant and Brewpub | Four Dallas Area Locations
Buttface Amber Ale & Blackened Tilapia-3

“The caramel malt sweetness of the Amber ale accentuates the blackening spice on the tilapia, plus lends an overall balance to the Cajun shrimp étouffée sauce. The touch of chocolate and the hops can stand up to the bite of this spicy dish.”Cyndi Marton, Sales & Service Coordinator


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: