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Pairing beer with sliders

Stack your plate high: Sliders are the perfect three-bite snack to pair with your favorite pint.
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Photo by Ed Rudolph / Food styling by John Anthony Galang

Photo by Ed Rudolph / Food styling by John Anthony Galang

Hosting a cook-out this summer? Here’s what you need in your cooler if you’re serving sliders:

Crab Cake & Gose
Summer’s favorite salty, crispy treat’s tucked in a doughy roll; an acidic gose brings a pop of pleasing brightness to the mix. The beer’s tartness bites against the rich seafood and fried crust, while its pinch of salt draws out the crustacean’s briny, oceanic flavors.

Cheeseburger & Brown Ale
Whether you’re a grill master or just a fan of White Castle (or, let’s face it, probably both), like any devoted carnivore you won’t escape summer without an embarrassment of cheeseburgers. What should be in your glass? Something simple. Reach for a beer that allows the cheesy goodness and juicy, dripping meat to work their magic. A brown ale’s toasted, nutty notes bridge the bready bun and the meat’s sweetness but bow to smoldering grilled notes and let gooey, sharp cheddar melt over everything.

Salmon & Belgian Blond Ale
A perfectly cooked piece of flaky, buttery salmon always welcomes a tart spritz of lemon; for this pairing, the bright, lemony notes in a Belgian blond are a worthy substitute. The beer’s crackerlike malts connect with the bun, while a dash of cracked black pepper adds spice to the bite. The flavors ride on lively, gushing carbonation that whisks away the oily fish and leaves the palate clean.

Pulled Pork & American IPA
Another reason to stock your cookout cooler with bold American IPAs: Meaty pulled pork sopped in a tangy, smoky barbecue sauce gets a green boost from a grassy, piney pint; the sip easily slides in with the slaw’s cabbage but lets the mayo tang rise above all of the savory goodness. Bristling bitterness storms the tongue and sweeps all the flavor away, easily readying your palate for the next bite.

Italian Meatball & Red Rye IPA
This marinara-soaked Italian meatball slider packs a lot of flavor, and a rye-spiced red IPA is ready for it. Sweet and zippy marinara sauce finds an even-keeled counterpart in the beer’s toasted, bready malts, while the meatball’s pepper, oregano and garlic draw out the rye’s sharp spice. Earthy hops ground all of the tang and spice before hop bitterness scrubs the tongue so you can “Mangia! Mangia!” all over again.

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