​​​​​​​April is Idaho Craft Beer Month, and to celebrate this annual event, I asked some breweries and restaurants around the state to share their favorite beer-and-food pairings and to tell us what inspires their creations. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​ Warning: thirst or hunger pangs may occur while reading.

Warfield Distillery & Brewery | Ketchum

Toothy Grin British Bitter (4.5% ABV | 33 IBU) served with Warfield’s Double-Cut Pork Chop (Idaho pork, apple reduction, yam potato cake, cider-malted demi-glace).​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

plate of food with pint of beer at warfield distillery
Photo credit: Warfield Distillery & Brewery.

A discussion with Alex Buck, co-founder of Warfield Distillery & Brewery

Why did you select this pairing?

“The components of the dish accentuate the delicate, malty sweetness of the beer.”  

What are the complementary or contrasting flavors or notes that work well together?

“We love the malty flavor and beautiful balance of our certified Organic Toothy Grin British Bitter. In Chef Jay Veregge’s opinion, it is one of the finest beers for all food pairings because of its incredibly approachable flavor. It is full-bodied, but not intrusive, and has a delicate hop bitterness.”

What are some adjectives you’d use to describe this pairing if you were describing it to somebody who has never enjoyed them together?

“Malty, caramel, fruity, sweet—but nicely balanced by the mild hop bitterness.”

Does the potential for pairing with Idaho craft beer influence the creation of your dishes? How about with this dish, specifically?

“Every Warfield pub dish is influenced by our certified Organic craft beer. Toothy Grin, in particular, inspired the creation of the Double-Cut Pork Chop as they are a perfect marriage of flavors.”

What characteristics do you look for in Idaho craft beer to compliment your dishes?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

“Chef Veregge prefers beer that has a good balance of hop and malt along with a clean finish. Such beers work in concert with multiflavored dishes.”

Anthony’s Restaurant |

Coeur d’Alene & Boise

Sockeye Brewing’s Angel’s Perch Amber (4.5% ABV | 15 IBU) served with a choice of Fresh Columbia River Steelhead, Wild Northwest Salmon ‘n Chips or Wild Northwest Salmon Tacos.

three plates of food with a pint and
Photo credit: Anthony’s Restaurant.

A discussion with Tony Ring, Anthony’s Regional Chef

Why did you select this pairing?

“Being a Northwest seafood restaurant company, we are always looking for local craft beers that complement our Northwest-inspired dishes. Angel’s Perch Amber is a delightful, well-balanced match for steelhead or wild Alaskan silver salmon.”

What are the complementary or contrasting flavors or notes that work well together?

Fresh Columbia River Steelhead (Chargrilled and finished with roasted apple-ginger butter and served with almond basmati rice pilaf* and seasonal vegetables)​​​​​​​​​​​​. *Anthony’s Boise location serves this with Craisin pistachio rice pilaf.

“The nuanced but well-balanced toasty tones of the amber stand up to the steelhead’s caramelized apple-ginger flavors without overwhelming it and finishes the palate nicely.”​​​​​​​

steelhead with pint of beer
Photo credit: Anthony’s Restaurant.

Wild Northwest Salmon ‘n Chips (Dipped in Anthony’s award-winning light tempura batter and served with French fries and slaw)

“The crisp Amber compliments and acts as a foil to the oil/fat content of the light tempura batter.”​​​​​​​

salmon and chips on plate with side of beer
Photo credit: Anthony’s Restaurant.

Wild Northwest Salmon Tacos (Wrapped in a warm flour tortilla with tomatoes and salsa mayo and served with chips and salsa.)

“The amber’s flavors cut the Cajun spices on the salmon and complement the salsa mayo nicely.”​​​​​​​

salmon tacos with pint of beer
Photo credit: Anthony’s Restaurant.

Does the potential for pairing with Idaho craft beer influence the creation of your dishes? How about with this dish, specifically?

“We are always looking for perfect Northwest pairings. The expansion of Idaho craft beer has provided us with another great experience for our guests.”

Milner’s Gate | Twin Falls

Blackadar American Stout* (6.2% ABV | 35 IBU) served with a three-course meal of Nisqually Bay Oyster Shooters, Thai-Style Baby Back Ribs and Chocolate-Caramel Cake.

*Blackadar American Stout is named for Idaho’s own Walt Blackadar, a pioneering whitewater kayaker.

pint of beer
Photo credit: Milner’s Gate.

A discussion with Tom Nickel, Owner

Why did you select this pairing?

Nisqually Bay Oyster Shooters (Flown in fresh from Puget Sound and served in a shot glass with mango-cilantro cocktail sauce with fresh horseradish and lemon)

“This is not the most typical pairing you’ll find for a stout, but we feel its strong flavors are contrasted and mellowed by the briny, sweet and salty flavors of the fresh oysters. The hint of horseradish cleanses the palate, getting you ready for more oysters and beer.” ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

pint of beer with oyster shooter
Photo credit: Milner’s Gate.

Thai-Style Baby Back Ribs (A full one-pound rack of baby back pork ribs, slow-cooked for tenderness and basted with a smoky, sweet and spicy Asian-fusion barbecue sauce)​​​​​​​

“The roasted flavors of the ribs marry really well with the roasted grains of the stout; and the sweet, spicy, tangy and smoky flavors of our unique barbecue sauce are the perfect complement to the smoky, sweet, coffee and chocolate notes of the stout.” ​​​​​​​

thai ribs with pint of beer
Photo credit: Milner’s Gate.

Chocolate-Caramel Cake (Served with vanilla ice cream, almond-toffee crumbles and caramel sauce)

“Stout is a classic pairing for chocolate, and the addition of our almond-toffee crumbles work perfectly with the roasty-toasty notes of this full-bodied brew.” 

pint of beer with chocolate caramel cake
Photo credit: Milner’s Gate.

If you made it all the way through without salivating, we’re impressed! But if you’re like us and can’t wait to start celebrating Idaho Craft Beer Month, get yourself to one of these fine establishments and visit https://idahocraftbeermonth.com/ to find events at participating breweries and restaurants around the state. Cheers!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Feature image credited to Warfield Distillery & Brewery.

Please drink responsibly.

Published on April 22, 2021