Beer Buying Guides Fine Dining News

Can you really pair beer with wild garlic, fish and cake?

by Marion Topitschnig
Wild garlic and fish

Put some spring in your step with these seasonal specialties...and be impressed by the many ways in which beer makes the perfect companion.

Complete with recommendations from top brewers and expert beer sommeliers.


Lydia Schima

"I love combining different beers with one and the same dish and sending my palate on an adventurous journey of discovery!"

Lydia Schima, Wine+Partners & Beer Sommelier Diploma

Lake trout with kohlrabi, physalis & pine nuts

Lake trout & Freistädter Bio Zwickl 

Beer is still underrepresented as a versatile beverage to accompany food in the Austrian catering industry. At a recent Kalk&Kegel magazine beer boot camp at the Schloss Eggenberg brewery in Upper Austria, top local somms were able to find out what possibilities different beer styles offer as beverage accompaniments. A particularly successful pairing: lake trout with kohlrabi, physalis & pine nuts, served with Freistädter Bio Zwickl.

Fisherman Benjamin Mayr from Lake Traunsee supplied the perfect base product, which Christoph Ranetbauer (Restaurant Bootshaus) "refined". The Freistädter Bio Zwickl, brewed with barley and wheat malt, with its distinctive orange colour and typical Zwickl cloudiness, harmonised with the dish with its full nose, slightly sweet aromas, roasted flavours, subtly bitter hop notes and pleasant acidity. "Simply great!"

Seppi Sigl, Trumer Privatbrauerei

"Beer is an incredibly versatile accompaniment to food. If you combine a dish with a hopped Pilsner or a dark barrel-aged Doppelbock, for example, you can really surprise your guests!"

Seppi Sigl, Trumer Privatbrauerei
Filled pasta with wild garlic

Filled pasta with wild garlic & Trumer Hopfenspiel

It is the culinary harbinger of spring par excellence: wild garlic. With its distinctive, fresh garlic flavour, it adds a special touch to many dishes right now. It can also be refreshing in a glass of beer: with Trumer Hopfenspiel. "My first 'baby'," says the brewery boss Seppi Sigl. He worked on it for over two years with his master brewer Felix Bussler before it was launched on the market. Awarded the European Beer Star in the "Session Beer" category in 2023, the light pilsner with just 2.9% ABV gets its exotic, fresh fruitiness with mango, apricot, elderberry and citrus exclusively from the hops. The low malt content makes it a certified gluten-free beer that is characterised by its lightness, freshness and effervescence and it goes wonderfully with light dishes. Seppi Sigl's recommendation? "It works best with summer salads, fish and fruity desserts."

Marlies Auer

"Independent Breweries of Austria offer such a wide variety that you won't get bored!"

Marlies Auer, Wine+Partners & Beer Sommelier Diploma
Grilled steak

Grilled steak & Bierol Rotes Öl – Hoppy Red Ale 

When the temperatures rise, it's time to dust off the BBQ again – and nothing goes getting with grilled food than a cold beer. The spicy Bierol Rotes Öl – Hoppy Red Ale is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy steak with its smoky flavour. The seasonal beer from the small private Tyrolean brewery was originally brewed as a house beer for the Stöfflhütte on the Walleralm. This pleasantly tart speciality has a pronounced malt character, red berries and toffee aromas.

Carrot cake with cream cheese topping

Carrot cake with cream cheese topping & Mohrenbräu Pale Ale

Beer with sweets or cake? Sounds exciting, and it is! Fruit-flavoured beers in particular open up a great deal of scope when it comes to accompanying drinks. One inspiration: Mohrenbräu's top-fermented pale ale is served with juicy carrot cake with cream cheese. "An exotic taste experience with fresh flavours such as grapefruit, mango and lime. For me, every sip is like a little holiday in the South Seas," says Managing Director Thomas Pachole enthusiastically. When it comes to hops, many people would first think of "bitter", but hops and beers like the Mohrenbräu Pale Ale can do much more and surprise with an incredible depth of flavour.  

Thomas Pachole, Mohrenbräu

"Beer offers a wide range of flavour profiles, from light and refreshing to rich and complex. This diversity makes beer the ideal accompaniment to complement or contrast with food."

Thomas Pachole, Mohrenbräu