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Craft Beer Times | Discover the Perfect Beer and Seafood Pairings with Salinity & Suds

Discover the Perfect Beer and Seafood Pairings with Salinity & Suds

Discover the Perfect Beer and Seafood Pairings with Salinity & Suds

Seafood and Beer: A Match Made in Heaven

There are few experiences that can rival the pleasure of digging into a plate of freshly caught seafood, paired with a cold beer. The combination of salty, briny flavors and crisp, smooth beer is a match made in heaven. The right beer can enhance the flavor of your seafood, while refreshing your palate between bites. But with so many types of beer available, it can be hard to know which ones will work best. In this article, we’ll explore the art of pairing beer with seafood and share some tips to help you make the most of your next seafood feast.

Understanding Salinity

Seafood is known for its delicate flavors, but it’s also known for its high salinity. Different types of seafood have varying levels of saltiness – for example, oysters are extremely briny, while shrimp are more mild. Beer also has its own levels of salinity, which can impact how well it pairs with seafood. To achieve a great pairing, it’s important to consider this factor.

The Beer Spectrum

Beer comes in a wide range of styles, from light lagers to rich stouts. Each style has its own unique flavor profile that can either complement or contrast with seafood. For example, a light, crisp pilsner can work well with mild seafood like white fish, while a bold IPA can stand up to the strong flavors of shellfish. It’s important to consider both the flavor and strength of the beer when making a pairing.

Pairing Tips

So now that we understand the basic principles of pairing seafood and beer, how do we put this knowledge into practice? Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Pair mild seafood with light beers: fish, crab, and lobster all pair well with light beers like pilsners and wheat beers.
  • Pair strong seafood with bold beers: shellfish like oysters, clams, and mussels can hold up to the bold flavors of IPAs and stouts.
  • Consider the cooking method: fried seafood pairs well with crisp, refreshing beers that can cut through the richness, while grilled seafood can work well with smoky, full-bodied beers.
  • Experiment: there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to beer and seafood pairing, so don’t be afraid to try new things. A Belgian witbier might not seem like an obvious pairing for seafood, but its citrusy notes can complement the brininess of oysters.


Pairing beer with seafood is a fun and rewarding experience that can enhance the flavor of your meal. By considering salinity, beer style, and cooking methods, you can create pairings that delight your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied. So next time you’re enjoying a seafood feast, crack open a cold one and savor the combination of salinity and suds.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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