Beer and whiskey is an undeniably classic combo, a dream team that combines hot and boozy with cool and carbonated at whatever pace seems right to the drinker. But not every brew makes a good beer back. “If I’m drinking a shot and beer pairing, I want the beer to soothe the whiskey a bit,” says bartender Jacob Grier, who’s run many bar programs, including the one at The Hop & Vine in Portland, Oregon.
Grier recommends avoiding hoppy beers, which will drown out a whiskey’s nuances with too much bitterness. And while stouts have become a standard whiskey pairing (you’re not the only one who’s tried Jameson with a side of Guinness), Grier prefers Scottish and British ales for their lighter bodies and malty sweetness. Try a classic English pale ale, such as the Old Speckled Hen. Or go for a higher alcohol brew with a more complex malt profile in a Scottish Wee Heavy beer – like Oskar Blues Old Chub or Rogue XS McRogue Scotch Ale – which are just stronger versions of a Scottish ale . Then set your own speed. May we suggest sip for sip?