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The Best Foods to Pair with Guinness, According to an Expert

A woman pours Guinness from a can into a glass mug.
Guinness/Twitter

St. Patrick’s Day is nearly here, and you might be planning to make some traditional Irish dishes. If you’re also planning to grab some Guinness, there’s one unexpected food you might want to pair with the iconic beer. You can also help the brewery give back.

We spoke with Jimmy Callahan, Guinness brewery ambassador and certified cicerone, about which foods work best with the beer brand’s different varieties. Turns out, it can be paired with everything from pork and beef to desserts, but the more surprising option was seafood!

“You’ll never go wrong with Guinness and seafood, which is a classic pairing going back to the 1830s,” Callahan said. “When drinking Guinness Draught, you taste sweetness from the malt, sourness, and umami from the roasted barley, and bitterness from the hops. The only thing not present is saltiness, which is why the brine of seafood works so well.”

He added that different versions of Guinness can suit a multitude of different meals.

“I’d actually recommend you use either Guinness Extra Stout or Foreign Extra Stout for your stews, shepherd’s pies, and chilies because they will deliver even more roastiness, chocolate, toffee, and bitterness,” Callahan said. “If you’re looking for something bright and citrusy, Guinness Baltimore Blonde can be great alongside a burger, but also a citrus chicken salad.”

If you’re looking for some recipes, the brand has an entire collection you can browse.

Whether you want to coordinate your St. Patrick’s Day meal with Guinness, or you just want some of the iconic Irish beer on hand, knowing how to pour it is the most important part. If you’re drinking from a bottle, you’re good! and there’s no need to pour. If you pick up some cans, though, Callahan gave us some instructions on how to pour the perfect pint.

First, grab a clean dry glass, then pop the tab on the can. The widget inside will release a mixture of beer and gas into the can. According to Callahan, this “allows the gas to escape from the beer in order to get the surge and settle to create the iconic Guinness head.”

Pour the beer at a 45-degree angle down the side of the glass, straightening it upright as you go.

Guinness beer being poured correctly on the left and incorrectly on the right.
The correct way to pour (left) versus the wrong way (right). vengerof/Shutterstock

This St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness is hosting #AToastTo, which celebrates frontline and essential workers, pubs, and bartenders. The brand is donating $600,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts, and you can join in.

All you have to do to participate is tag the brand’s Instagram account when you post a pic of your St. Patrick’s Day guests or yourself enjoying a Guinness, and include the AToastTo hashtag. When you do, this will donate an additional $1 (up to $100,000 total) to participating organizations.

It’s just another good reason to pour everyone a Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day!

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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