Ah beer! Delicious, refreshing beer!
With the rise of Craft brews, there is simply no hotter pairing right now in the world of cigars than with the luscious liquid gold. Cigar manufacturers are even blending cigars specifically to match different beers. Drew Estate, for example, has released the Smoking Monk line of beer-inspired smokes that feature flavors which complement the more popular styles of brews.
Pairing cigars with beer is much like any other pairing. Ideally its best to pair like-bodied brews and smokes, yet sometimes that just isn’t in the cards. So the bottom line is to do whatever brings you the most pleasure!
The trick, or rather joy, of the whole experience is to experiment until you find the perfect pairing to suit your tastes! With so many different types of beer, it might be a bit overwhelming so the following is a just a few examples of the many possibilities:
Ale is mind-bogglingly broad category that encompasses some of the most popular beer available today. Pale Ales, India Pale Ales (IPAs) and Imperial IPAs are fan favorites and are always intensely pleasing cigar companions due in part to the tantalizing abundance of hops. For a truly voluptuous excursion, try out a Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA with a Camacho Criollo Robusto. For those with exceedingly demanding palates, pair a Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA with a Rocky Patel Fusion Churchill for a mesmerizing smoke and brew adventure.
Pales are not the only Ales that deliver the goods. Scotch Ales can excite the taste-buds with a great cigar too and with generally more emphasis on malt rather than hops, these brews pair well with cigars that deliver deep caramel and toffee notes.
Brown Ales are another cigar-friendly brew that can dish out sweet and nutty nuances which pair well with a wide variety of cigars. Give a Romeo y Julieta Havoc Fat Churchill a go with a Rogue HazelNut Brown Nectar for a one delicious indulgence! Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale is another favorite amongst everyday aficionados especially when paired with an Oliva Serie G Toro.
Belgian-style Ales have also made their presence known in the world of cigar pairing. From Golden Ales to deeply complex Quadrupel Ales, there are amazing adventures to be found here. One of the most popular Ales from Belgium is Affligem’s Blonde Ale, a vibrantly refreshing choice that sings a seductive duet with a Perdomo Reserve Champagne Figurado. American-made Belgian-styles are also immensely popular choices that rank amongst the best in the World. The Cali-Belgique from Stone Brewing is a hybrid Belgian-style IPA that is a great entry into Belgian-style brews and the perfect mate for a H. Upmann Legacy Toro. While Allagash Brewing Company’s Dubbel Reserve is a brew rich in malty goodness that, when paired with an Oliva Serie V Melanio Torpedo, makes for a truly unforgettable event.
Pairing Lager with Cigars
With a broad spectrum of styles and tastes, these golden brews will have no problem finding a cigar that complements, as well as enhances the experience. Lagers, including Pilsners, Bocks, Marzens and many other subcategories, offer up amazing cigar pairing opportunities at every turn. Black Ops Connecticut Toro cigars are popular selections to go with golden American Lagers. Often lumped into the Marzen category, Oktoberfest beers are lusciously flavored animals all their own that bring a ton of goodness to any cigar smoking endeavor. Light up a Camacho Ecuador Robusto and savor the complexity that leaps out of a Ballast Point Dead Ringer Oktoberfest. Other Dark Lagers are especially cigar-friendly and will be extremely pleasing companions to livelier smokes. For one of the more gratifying pairings, enjoy a Kristoff Ligero Criollo Torpedo with one of the most touted of all dark German brews, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock.
Wheat beer, known by many names including Hefeweizen and Weissbier, is a unique pairing partner that will deliver an amazingly effervescent adventure when paired with the right stick. With hints of spice and citrus often prevalent, Hefeweizen matches well with cigars that are less overbearing in structure, such as many Connecticut Shade-shrouded sticks like the Macanudo Café Baron de Rothschild. Drew Estate’s Smoking Monk Hefeweizen is made for just such a pairing, especially with a thick American-brewed Hefeweizen. For a slightly different experience try a luxuriously smooth 5 Vegas Gold with a German-style Hefeweizen like the famously delicious Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier.
Porters and Stouts
Porters and Stouts have become increasingly popular as companions to cigars, due in part to the thick textures and abundant coffee, cocoa, vanilla, wood and smoke flavors that match exceedingly well with many cigars. For a casual excursion, enjoy a Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro with a Deschutes Black Butte Porter. For a more luxurious Porter pairing, it is tough to do better than an English-brewed Meantime Porter with a Partagas Black Label Pyramid. A North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout with a tasty Undercrown Double Corona will also prove a remarkably rich and satisfying trek. Some single-batch Bourbon Stouts are fantastic pairing partners with full-bodied smokes as well and will delight like no other. And perfect for get-togethers at the pub, try an all-Irish Black & Tan comprised of Guinness Draught and Smithwicks Ale with the Black & Tan of cigars, Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta No. 4.
With the explosion of Micro-brews and the beer renaissance that has followed, there is a brew to match just about any cigar available today. From IPAs to Pilsners, from Nut Brown Ales to Stouts, cigars will find a willing and able partner in the world of delicious brews! So here’s to frothy mugs and sumptuous smokes! Cheers!
Have another pairing that’s a must-try for other cigar fans? We’d love to hear it. Add it below and next time we get a chance, we’ll crack open a bottle and start toasting. If it strikes us as a can’t miss – we’ll add it to the suggestions above.