You’ve tried it with sake, white wine, and fruity cocktails…but what about a cold beer?
Sushi and beer go together like white on rice. Yet, with over 3,400 breweries in America, you’ve got endless options to choose from.
But not all brews get created equal when it comes to enhancing the flavor of sushi rolls and sashimi. It’s not only about pairing a brew with the raw fish. But also the accompaniments, like ginger, wasabi, and spicy mayo.
So, wondering what brew brand and style goes best with this beloved Japanese cuisine? Read on for the best 10 beers to pair with your next sushi order.
1. Sapporo Premium
It’s no surprise here that this is a top beer to pair with any style of sushi. But what kind of beer is Sapporo and why does it match so well with sushi?
It’s often the go-to for those who enjoy an ice cold brew with their sushi entree. Your favorite sushi spot will also most likely always carry Sapporo so you can enjoy it when dining in. You should also order it on draft when you can.
Sapporo is dry and crisp, with a refreshing taste. You’ll notice it’s both hoppy and sweet, without too much flavor. This makes it a great choice to cleanse your palate between different sushi rolls.
2. Sam Adams Noble Pils
A proper pilsner is a great pick to go with your sushi sashimi nigiri order. It’s high in hops while still offering floral notes. So, you’ll get a nice bitter yet sweet flavor profile.
This works to complement the decadent fatty flavor of the sushi. It can also balance out the pungent tang of pickled ginger.
3. Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace Saison
This one shows up a lot in sushi photographs on Instagram as a great pairing recommendation. The beer even gets its name from Japan’s Hokkaido region. It’s a saison-style brew with a unique Sorachi Ace hop flavor.
You’ll notice hints of lemon and herbs with a refreshing yet spicy finish. It pairs well with seafood, making it a smart choice for sushi lovers. This beer also gets recommended with tempura shrimp rolls.
The Sorachi Ace Saison has even gotten named one of the top 25 beers to taste before you kick the bucket. So, be sure to try this one out.
4. Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale
Hitachino makes for a great sushi beer. This IPA gets brewed in Japan and aged in wooden barrels. It has a bitter malt flavor with a nice cedar taste.
It’s a bit earthy and best served with spicier rolls. So load up on the spicy mayo and wasabi when enjoying this brew. It also has great carbonation for cleansing the palate.
5. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
This is a popular hefeweizen German-style beer. It offers a different tasting experience than the others on this list. This beer style is also a favorite choice for those who visit the city of Munich for Oktoberfest.
The high yeast content from this beer offers a nice enhancement to sushi. It’s also light and easy to drink and keeps the spiciness of the wasabi in check.
Kellerweis is sweet without being too overpowering. You’ll get a bit of spice and a slight banana flavor. So it even pairs well with sushi rolls that contain fruit, like mango.
6. Goose Island Summertime
This is a summertime favorite among all beer lovers. It’s light and refreshing, while still being fruity and floral.
This Goose Island brew is a Kolsch-style with a crisp finish. It has a light lemon and bread flavor. So it complements the taste of the raw fish and rice well.
7. Left Hand Brewing Good Juju
Left Hand Brewing is one of the top Colorado breweries and a favorite among many craft beer drinkers. It’s clean, crisp, light, and spicy all in one bottle.
It’s also considered one of the best beer with sushi thanks to its nice ginger flavor. Yet, it does this without taking away from the delicate flavor of the sushi.
8. Kona Brewing Big Wave Golden Ale
This one is made in Hawaii, where they know their seafood. This light blonde ale is great for sashimi as it doesn’t overpower the dish.
You’ll notice a nice caramel malt flavor that is also light and tropical. The brewery also recommends Big Wave for all delicious seafood dishes.
9. Dogfish Head Rosabi
This IPA gets brewed with wasabi, by craft brew favorite, Dogfish Head. It’s both hoppy and herbal in flavor, with hints of red rice.
You’ll notice a little bit of heat. Yet, this only enhances the flavor of spicy tuna or yellowtail jalapeno rolls. IPA’s also fair well with tempura shrimp rolls and help soak up the fried oil flavor.
This brew can be hard to find so your local sushi shop likely won’t carry it. So, order it to go and enjoy your meal pairing at home instead.
When picking the best food pairings for sushi and beer remember the option of takeout orders. Popular places like Sushi By Bou even offer micro-restaurants with full menus. This way you can dine inside hotels or grab your order on-the-go.
10. Westbrook Brewing Gose
A Gose-style brew is great for those beer connoisseurs looking for something different. It’s sour, tart, and refreshing for your palate. It also gets brewed with grey sea salt and hints of coriander.
This beer can take on an acidic and salty finish, sometimes described as sea foam. So it’s perfect for complimenting the ocean flavors of the raw sushi.
Sushi and Beer…Compliments to the Chef
These sushi and beer pairings may be hard to find in most local Japanese restaurants. This is due to their love of Sapporo, Kirin, and other native brews.
Yet, these top Japanese beers do still pair well with sushi and sashimi. Yet, if you’re looking for something more craft style, opt for takeout instead. This way you can try each of the beers on this list to find your favorite pairing.
Yet, what about if you’re more of a spirits person? Then check out this guide on how to serve and drink sake the right way. You also shouldn’t have any problem ordering a top quality sake at your local sushi joint.