Pairing cigars with beer makes perfect sense. Check out some recommended cigar and beer pairings perfect for craft beer lovers and cigar enthusiasts.
Although you may think that whiskey is the only alcohol with which you can nicely pair a cigar, the growing popularity of craft beer has led to an increase in viable cigar and beer pairings. With more varieties of beer in a wide range of flavors and styles, it is now easier than ever to pair up beer with any of the cigars in your humidor. Here is El Cigar’s guide to pairing cigars with beer.
Why Is Beer A Great Partner For Your Favorite Cigars?
Cigars and beer are made with very similar principles and set standards of quality of their products. Craft beer brewers and premium cigar makers take their time to craft the ultimate blend of flavors, manipulating the ingredients and working alongside nature.
A number of similar factors determine the outcome of both, including the type of plants used, the region and climate in which they are grown, and the fermentation process. The reason beer pairs so well with cigars is due to the fact that it is a carbonated drink.
The carbonated bubbles in the beer cleanse and refresh the palate, allowing you to experience the full tastes and aromas of both your cigar and beer. With craft beers rapidly rising in popularity, there are now a wide variety of beer flavors available that can pair with just about any cigar combination.
How to Pair Cigars and Beer
A good place to start with your pairing would be to match the basic characteristics of a cigar and a beer. For example, a light beer such as a lager or pilsner would work better with a milder cigar than it would with a stronger, more full-bodied one.
Likewise, a more intense cigar will work best with stronger beers such as stouts or ales. Falling in between the two, medium-bodied cigars would pair well with an IPA.
For those only beginning to consider cigar and beer pairings, the most basic way of choosing a pair is to focus on the color. For the most part, a light-toned cigar wrapper will be milder, and a darker Maduro cigar wrapper will be more on the full-bodied side. Similarly, lighter colored beers will be milder in flavor than a darker beer.
Mild Cigar and Pilsner
Pilsner is a pale lager style beer, taking its name from the Bohemian city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell is the world’s first pilsner blond ale.
The Rocky Patel 1999 Vintage cigar’s light brown Connecticut shade-grown wrapper provides a milder smoke. The mellowness of the cigar makes it an easy smoke alongside this delicious drinkable beer.
Medium-bodied Cigar and Indian Pale Ale
Hoppy IPAs can overpower milder cigars and more full-bodied cigars can mask the subtle flavors in the ale. If you are an IPA drinker, then a medium-bodied cigar will be your best bet!
Many IPA’s have notes of citrus, which will pair well with the hints of sweetness present in the San Andres Maduro wrapper of San Lotano Maduro by AJ Fernandez. Pliny the Elder, from Russian River Brewing Company, is a Double IPA and would make an excellent pairing with the San Lotano.
Full-bodied Cigar and Stout
The sometimes overpowering tastes of a full-bodied cigar need an equally strong drinking buddy, making the darkest of beers, like Stout or Porter, the perfect companion. A great choice for a full-bodied cigar that pairs excellently with Porter is the My Father Le Bijou.
With its robust, complex flavors of savory leather, dark chocolate and coffee, it works well with the darkest beers. Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon has the same deep, robust and richly rewarding aspects of the Le Bijou. Obsidian has distinct notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malt and black barley with just enough hop bite to cut the sweetness.
Experiment with combining different flavors found in your favorite beers and cigars. This is what makes life worth living!