A beer and a burger is an age-old combination that many have us have enjoyed at one time or another. But have you ever considered pairing a mead with a burger? Similarly to wine, meads have a complex flavour palate, with some varieties matching better with certain foods than others.
The rules of pairing meads with food are fairly straightforward – dry meads are to have with dinner, sweeter meads are for after dinner and sparkling meads are for drinking on their own. If you are new to the world of mead, you might also want to check out our Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Mead to give you a few tips on enjoying your beverage.
If you’d like to learn a bit more, keep reading to find some of our suggested pairings here:
There is a general rule of thumb that you pair dark with dark, so red meat will be best partnered with a darker mead. Due to red meats having a higher fat content than other meats, red meat will coat your mouth which can prevent flavours from coming through as strongly as they did before.
A full-bodied mead contains enough acidity to cleanse the palette, meaning that taking a drink after each bite of your meal keeps the flavour consistent throughout the entire meal. Moniack Mead is one such drink that would perfectly accompany a beef burger due to its darker colour and richer flavours which linger long after you’ve finished drinking!
Chicken is best served with a dry, lighter mead but should still be a ‘dinner mead’ – once more, similarly to wine, the lighter meads are better with the leaner proteins, so a lighter mead would also be better suited with fish. Our Garden Mead is one such drink on the lighter side of things that would work well with either chicken or fish, with mint overtones that balance well with such meals.
The Westcountry Mead may also be a good choice if the burger has a bit of a spicy kick to it, as the spicy-sweet overtone pairs well with food that is on the hotter side.
When it comes to the ‘in between’ proteins, such as pork and venison, for example, the rules are slightly different. These proteins are prepared differently than chicken and have a deeper flavour profile, but often not quite as deep as red meats.
In these cases, a fruity mead could be used to match the flavour profile. We have an extensive range of fruit meads available, but we feel our Rhubarb Mead is a good pairing. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet, and has a tang that would pair perfectly with middle proteins.
Depending on what variety of veggie burgers you opt for will dictate which type of mead is best suited to it. If you opt for a spicy bean burger, our Westcountry Mead would make for an excellent pairing, as it is very well suited as an accompaniment to spicy food.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you may want to test your palate with our Chilli Mead alongside your veggie burger, which will be sure to leave your tongue tingling! Both our Chilli and Westcountry meads are also suitable for vegetarians, so will be the perfect pair for a meatless meal.
What About Cheese?
Now we’re not saying you’re going to eat a whole burger made from cheese (although deep-fried camembert being used in place of a burger is something we’ve seen before!) but if you are snacking on a cheeseboard, you will want to go against the ‘rule’ we mentioned earlier.
For cheese, you will definitely want to go for a darker mead to help break through the higher fat content, similar to when pairing with red meat, so we’d opt for Moniack again, or even our Tournament Mead which is on the lighter side, but the hint of ginger helps to cut through the flavour of the stronger cheeses.
Cyser & Sparkling Mead
So, we’ve covered all the burger angles with our mead, but you might be wondering about what to pair our sparkling mead and cyser with. For those of you who don’t know about cyser, it is a blend of sparkling mead and traditional scrumpy cider, creating a refreshing mead/cider hybrid, which is an excellent, lighter approach to the drink, especially for cider lovers.
When it comes to pairing with food, our Jack Ratt sparkling cyser and sparkling mead are excellent finger food accompaniments, so if you are grazing – such as at a Boxing Day buffet – our cans will partner fantastically with the lighter spread.
What’s Your Favourite Combo?
Of course, everything boils down to personal preference, so we’d love to hear about your favourite combinations – why not get in touch on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages and show us what you’ve been cooking up!