Beer is a better companion than wine to spicy foods such as fiery Sichuan or tex-mex specialities. For heavy foods like sausages and hearty stews, choose stouts, English-style ales, malty Bavarian-style lagers, and other strong-flavored beers. Relatively tamer preparations such as sautéed veal and Southern fried chicken are better paired with more subtle beers like lagers, pilseners, and gentle ales.

When you have the choice, opt for tap beer over bottled or canned beer. If it is unpasteurized, tap beer will taste fresher and better. Canned beer is the least desirable, because over a prolonged period, the metal alters the taste of beer.