5 Tips on Beer and Food Pairing from Justin Malone, Certified Beer Server, and Owner and Operating Partner at Waller Creek Pub House in Austin, Texas.

Justin Malone’s passion for beer started after he began bartending at a craft beer bar while earning his MBA from the University of Houston. By the time Malone completed his post-graduate degree, the economic recession was in full force and he decided to steer clear of the financial industry for a while, and instead joined the world of craft beer full-time.

Malone honed his craft beer knowledge while working with a number of breweries and distributors including Sixpoint Brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing Company, and Duff Beer Distribution. Malone’s comprehensive background and experience in the beer industry, coupled with his education focused on business management, finance and entrepreneurship, gave him the tools and connections to make the idea of opening a pub house become a reality.

Thanks to an impressive selection of craft beer and its quirky, neighborhood vibe, Waller Creek Pub House is known as one of the top craft beer bars in Austin. The pub has 30 draft handles that constantly rotate to feature craft beers from coast-to-coast, including small-batch and limited-edition brews. Waller Creek also partners with craft breweries from near and far to host launch parties, exclusive tasting events and beer dinners on a regular basis.

Here are Five Craft Beer and Food Pairing Tips from Justin Malone:

  1. IPAs always pair well with spicy food items. The bitterness does a great job of elevating the spiciness and complementing the flavors. Being from Texas I love a good IPA with a spicy bowl of chili or a nice Thai dish.
  2. I also love a citrusy gose paired with ceviche. The saltiness and citrus flavors complement each other nicely, and is the perfect pairing for spring and summer.
  3. When/if it ever gets cold out here in Texas, I love to pair a malty brown ale with a hearty beef stew. This is also a great opportunity to incorporate beer into cooking. When making beef stew, we often braise the beef in a brown ale, as well as add it to the stew as it cooks down and becomes nice and thick.
  4. On the dessert side I tend to pair a big imperial stout with some kind of chocolate cake or rich dessert. The coffee and chocolate notes typically associated with these beers, as well as the high alcohol, make a great pairing for dessert.
  5. Going out on a limb and getting a little crazy, one of my favorite craft beer and food pairings is dry pumpkin ale served with a bleu cheese crostini. We did this recently at a beer dinner and it was delicious, although it might have scared some people at first.