If you love beer but haven’t the first clue about how to pair it with your favourite dishes then boy have we got a treat for you! Finally, the ultimate “cheat sheet” to beer and food pairings is here and we are super excited to share it with you. Two brewers, Denis da Silva and Anton Erasmus from SAB give us the low-down on just how beer can complement food so keep reading to learn a few cheats for your next braai or dinner party.


Known for the perfect balance between dry and bitter, Castle Lager described in three words is “thirst-quenching, flavoursome and balanced”.

Best paired with: MEAT

Braai meats (e.g. grilled sirloin) – it is a South African tradition to drink Castle Lager at braais.
Mild curry – it acts as a “semi-fire blanket” against mild curries only.

Note to remember:

The smoothness and succulence of Castle Lager pairs well with the salt of the meat, and the hop, pairs well with pepper (normally put on braai meats).
It is robust and full-bodied enough to stand up to a variety of meats provided the sauce is not too overpowering.


With its unique drinking experience, Hansa Pilsener described in three words is “Pilsener, refreshing and crisp”.


Lightly flaked herby white fish
Crisp green salads with cream dressing
Fried Camembert in phyllo pastry

Note to remember:

It is medium bodied and pairs well with lightly spiced dishes.


With its unique drinking experience, Castle Lite described in three words is “ice-cold, lite and premium”.


Light seafood – fish should not have overly fishy/sea taste
Crisp and crunchy green salads – includes pasta salads

Note to remember:

The premium lite beer undergoes low temperature fermentation to create lower levels of bitterness and a cleaner, crisper beer – therefore plates well with food with light flavours.
Pairs well with green salads because of its coarse crisp mouthfeel and some ‘green’ aromas.


Distinguished by its flavour and reputation, Carling Black Label described in three words is “intrinsic, full-bodied/ full-flavoured and fruity aroma”.

Best paired with: BIG FOOD FLAVOURS

Strong curry – as well as the sambals of coconut, banana, tomato and onion
Pork and apple sauce
Pork belly with sweet/honey/fruit glaze
Caramelised onions
Yorkshire puddings – the sweet bread flavours
Sweet and sour chicken

Note to remember:

Carling Black Label goes well with strong curries because of its bitterness is lower.
It is full bodied enough to stand against bigger flavoured food without getting lost.
The perceived sweetness of Black Label and its fruity characteristics complement the sweet characteristics in food.


Distinguished by its flavour and reputation, Carling Black Label is described as “‘fresh from the tap’ taste (smooth), lightly-fruity and slightly-sweet”.

Best paired with: HOT CURRIES and CHEESE

Hot curries – serve ice cold as excellent “fire blanket”
Soft cheeses – brie and mozzarella
Note to remember:

Miller’s unique process of cold-filtering the beer four times results in a fresher-tasting – as if straight from the tap.


Savour the moment

Castle Milk Stout described in three words is “smooth, rich and quality dark roasted malt”.

Best paired with: RICH MEATS and PUDDINGS

Rich stews
Fresh oysters
Big flavoured roasts with intense sauce
Any chocolate or toffee puddings

Note to remember:

Choice barley grain is slow roasted to produce a rich dark brew. A unique blend of hops adds a touch of bitterness while special yeast produces the flavour and creamy head – it is big enough to stand up to the most flavoursome and rich dishes.


Considered the “ultimate” beer, Pilsner Urquell with its 21 different taste notes is a “golden, juxtaposition of bitterness and sweetness”.

Best paired with: DRAMATIC FOOD

Strongly flavoured beef and pork stews
Chicken kiev
Angry duck
Thai curries
Tomato bredie
Traditional goulash
Indian masalas and curries
Full roasted meat dishes

Note to remember:

It is a beer for Connoisseurs to be savoured and enjoyed – the complexity of the beer also lends itself to dramatic food pairings.


Peroni Nastro Azzurro described in three words is “crisp, bold and timeless”.

Best paired with: VARIETY (meat/fish, poultry and greens)

Most forms of Carpaccio – with rocket and parmesan
Light tuna and olives
Seared tuna with black pepper
Portuguese dishes
Soft cheeses
Butternut soup
Terrines, confits and pates

Note to remember:

The combination of craftsmanship with effortless style, a touch of boldness, brewed to an authentic Italian recipe, ensures that Peroni remains a timeless classic.

First published on MenStuff.co.za.