Food Articles

The ultimate beer and burger pairing guide

From HonestBrew's beer experts


There’s very little that you can’t slap on a burger; the ubiquitous smashed avo, crispy onion rings, fiery chorizo or a simple but effective slice of American cheese – they all make for great between the bun bedfellows. However, that doesn’t mean that any old beer will suffice when it comes to finding the perfect partner for your meaty concoction.

Beef burger + Beavertown Black Betty

A typical beef burger packs four of the five basic tastes known to man. Saltiness and the fabled ‘umami’ are provided by the meat and cheese, sourness stems from pickles and mustard, and sweetness is introduced thanks to a generous dollop of ketchup. The missing link is bitterness! a chink in your burger’s tender armour that a robust black IPA can reinforce. The maltiness of the style will also work in harmony with those charred, smoky flavours that have infiltrated your burger as it undergoes the Maillard reaction during cooking. Beavertown’s signature black IPA, Black Betty, is a complex and contradictory beer that packs persisting bitter grapefruit and pine notes alongside ripe tropical flavours and a rich chocolatey malt base.
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Chicken burger + Gipsy Hill Southpaw

Without the fattiness of the beef a good deal of richness will be lost and you can easily overpower more subtle flavours with a strong beer, so a nutty brown or amber ale is an ideal choice. The white meat of chicken is delicate, but if you’ve marinated it in a sticky BBQ marinade, a sweet and malty brew makes for a perfect companion. Grain and hop fight for dominance in Gipsy Hill’s Southpaw Amber Ale, somehow both come out on top. The result is a bittersweet combination, bringing sharp citrus, whispers of toffee and lightly toasted malt flavours, and a satisfyingly bitter finish.
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Veggie burger + Wild Beer Co’s Epic Saison

The ingredients and seasonings packed inside a veggie burger can vary wildly from burger to burger. Kale, quinoa, mixed beans, mushrooms, various herbs and spices - let’s assume there’s a lot going on in your next bite. You’ll be needing a beer that can stand up to such variety while not overpowering the layers of flavour. Wild Beer Co’s Epic Saison is crisp, zesty and spicy, providing both complexity and refreshment with every gulp thanks to its fusion of belgian yeast and American hops. The aromatic Sorachi Ace hops will stand up to burger’s wealth of seasonings, while clean, herbal notes refresh the palate in preparation for the next bite.
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Cheeseburger + Buxton Axe Edge

Melt cheese atop your beef and you’re going to have a whole lotta fatty deliciousness on your hands… and most of your face too. A hefty dose of bitterness is required to slice through the richness. Many modern IPAs have forsaken bitterness in favour of more juicy, tropical fruit flavours. We’re looking for a beer that favours classic pine, mandarin and grapefruit notes, yet also bears a warming malty base which will compliment condiments and toppings such spicy mustard, sharp onions and hot chillies. Buxton’s Axe Edge is the West Coast style IPA your cheeseburger demands.
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Lamb burger + Mad Hatter's Tzatziki Sour

Lamb and tzatziki is a classic combo, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with the flavours. Instead of topping your next lamb burger with a generous dollop of the cooling sauce, reach for a beer inspired by it. Liverpool’s Mad Hatter are renowned for their mind-bendingly good recipes - their Tzatziki Sour is perhaps their most divisive concoction. Greek yoghurt is used to sour the Berliner Weisse, while added cucumbers and mint soaked in Ouzo ensure you’re in for an authentic experience. Fancy taking your taste buds on a journey down the rabbit hole? Pair this sour, refreshing and extremely complex beer with your burger.
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