By Jared Dillon
Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe & Bistro

Mexican food is, in my opinion, the quintessential food to pair with beer.

The complexity of spices in traditional Mexican dishes lends itself perfectly to the array of flavors in beer. The heavy amount of citrus and chocolate used in the cuisine also highlights the pairing.

Let’s start off with one of the most sensible beer pairing in Southern California: India Pale Ales and tacos. IPAs typically have strong tropical and citrus fruit flavors that lend themselves perfectly with the flavors presented in any type of taco. Chicken, beef or fish all have their own flavor profiles that go perfectly with an IPA. The spicier the tacos, the better an IPA will be for cleansing the palate of heat.

Surprisingly, Belgian beers pair superbly with Mexican food. Lighter styles, like a golden ale or sour blonde, will go perfectly with a shrimp ceviche. The fruity and tart flavors will go perfectly with the citrusy flavors of the ceviche.

Dubblels or Quadrupels will pair great with an enchilada or burrito with their heavy malt sweetness and subtle spiciness.

The realm of beers and Mexican food definitely goes past Tecate and taquitos. Next time you order some Mexican food, reach for your favorite craft beer and enjoy the harmony of one of the best beer pairings around.

We will be tasting a variety of beers with Mexican food at Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe on Thursday, Feb. 20. If you would like to reserve a seat, call 951-659-9463.