On your next voyage to IKEA, pick up these traditional Swedish treats: With simple assembly and beers to match, this pairing party comes together without a hitch.
Smoked salmon + Irish stout: An Irish stout’s roasted tones connect with the salmon’s smoke, while the beer’s dryness cleans up the fishy, oily bite.
Swedish meatballs +Scotch ale: A Scotch ale’s signature caramel sweetness is the perfect stage for the meatball’s earthy cardamom, nutmeg and pepper spices; but even better is the way the beer’s smoky wisps give a little grilled edge to the traditionally oven-made meat.
Blueberry pie + brown ale: A brown ale’s soft, toasted malt mimics the crust that supports tart, sweet blueberry.
Roe and potato canapé + blueberry wheat: On a piece of crisp bread, layer a slice of baked potato, roe and a dollop of sour cream; garnish with scallions. Crisp bread’s cardboard-dry, potatoes are starchy, the roe’s salty, and sour cream and onion have that vegetal zing—the only thing missing is a bit of sweet. A blueberry wheat beer brings a high berry note that sings above the rest of this hardy little bite.
Crawfish + Brett saison: Served cold, dill-seasoned crawfish taste like they’ve just crawled out of the sea, with the sweet, buttery meat swimming in chilled, briny water. A vivacious saison with Brett lends a sour pucker that plucks at the dill and lemon freshness that’s a natural companion to seafood.
Sillmacka (herring sandwich) + rye IPA: A proper Sillmacka is layers of boiled egg, pickled herring, sour cream and chopped chives on buttered rye bread. Pickled herring is powerful: oily, salty, briny and tart. Sour cream and egg temper the fishiness, while earthy rye bread is the flavor floor. A rye IPA finds the rye spice in the bread, while grassy hops have an outdoorsy quality that mingles easily with fish. The equal weight between the bite and the sip keeps this pair level.