Tacos and beer: is there a better combo? OK, pizza, we see you… you too, burgers and wings. But returning fan favorite Mexican Lager with Lime is back this May, so it’s the taco’s time to shine. And just as there's a GLBC beer for everyone under the Midwest sun, so too is there a taco that’s a perfect salsa partner for each refreshing pint. Let’s get this fiesta started!
Of course, when it comes to pairing beer and tacos, no GLBC brew does the job better than our Mexican Lager with Lime. While the iguana on the can obviously loves the Great Lakes, it’d be equally at home in northwest Mexico – also home of the Baja fish taco. Top some fried tilapia or walleye with pico de gallo and a cilantro crema, and wrap in a corn tortilla. The beer’s light citrus acidity will contrast beautifully with the creaminess of the cilantro sauce, enhancing the flavor intensity of each. There’s also resonance between the real lime in each sip of our Mexican Lager and the freshly sliced pico.
Give taco night a breezy burst of citrus by pairing lemon-lime marinated shrimp tacos with SunSail Hard Tea. Part of why we love this taco is its simplicity – just mix the shrimp and some freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice in a bag for 30 minutes, and voilà, you’re good to go! The delicate citrus flavor and mild texture of the shrimp will sail away perfectly with SunSail’s equally simple (and equally delicious) lemon flavor and slight sweetness. Adding some sour cream to that crunchy hard shell? Try pairing this taco with Crushworthy Lo-Cal Citrus Wheat, whose carbonation and light acidity will help cut right through the added creaminess.
You might already be vibing with these pairings, but just wait until you try a chicken tinga taco with Vibacious Double IPA. First, how about that color! The bright red of the tomato chipotle sauce is almost as vibrant as Vibacious’ gorgeous can. (No one said there isn’t a visual component to beer and food pairing!) Flavor-wise, this pairing is all about expressive intensity. The smokiness and heat of the adobo sauce; the potent blend of spices; that savory slow cooked pulled chicken. All this goodness is matched by Vibacious’ intense (yet smooth and easy drinking) hop flavors. Looking for something lighter that will still make your taco Tuesday feel like a mid-week escape? TropiCoastal Tropical IPA is extremely on-theme, and offers paradisal tropical hop flavors to complement this taco nicely.
Few GLBC beers pair as well with food as the classic Eliot Ness Amber Lager. (Fun fact: the first Mexican Lagers were Vienna-style, the same style that inspired Eliot Ness.) Packed with rich malt flavor, our arrestingly smooth lager pairs beautifully with roasted sweet potatoes and pepitas in a lightly toasted flour tortilla. The roasting process will caramelize the potatoes, creating a complementary flavor link to the beer’s caramel malt character, and the toasted shell will link with the beer’s bready notes as well. An untouchable pairing!
And while we tend to think of paler, more refreshing beers as the best fits for a taco, dark beers like Edmund Fitzgerald Porter work just as well! Dark, smoky mole beef is a natural fit for Fitz, but we highly recommend trying out Chef Richard’s spicy taco rub too. Our Porter’s bittersweet chocolatey flavors meld perfectly with the light brown sugar in the rub, and the sharpness of the beer’s roast malt character matches the potency of the rub’s spicy cayenne and cumin. Check out the full recipe and watch Chef Richard whip it up here.
Hungry yet? ¡Sí! Better yet, if you’re feeling thirsty, use our Beer Finder to track down any of these perfect pairing beers at a retailer near you.
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Questions? Email GLBCinfo@greatlakesbrewing.com for more information.
Words: Michael Williams & Richard Basich
Photos and Video: Adam Ritterspach