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Dream teams: Your ultimate burger and beer pairing guide

Dream teams: Your ultimate burger and beer pairing guide

Nothing suits a patty and buns like some bubbly suds. Yup, burgers and beer go together like peas and carrots, like Batman and Robin, like…like a local brewery and a cherished food event.

The Coast and Garrison Brewing are thrilled to be working together on the 2023 Burger Bash. With 80 Burger Bash restaurants—fully half of this year’s participating businesses—carrying Garrison products, it’s a perfect match. And it can lead to some perfectly matched meals for you.

“Just like wine, different beers can really compliment and elevate different elements in food,” says Justin Zinck, Garrison’s marketing and brand manager. “If you find that great combination, you’ll get so much enjoyment out of the burger and the beer.”

To help your discovery, we sat down with the brewery crew to talk about what Garrison products pair best with the multitude of tastes on offer at Burger Bash. Looking at some different burger flavour profiles and what beers best compliment them, we’ve produced the following pairing guide to be your trusty dining companion.

The bite: smoky, barbeque and grilled flavours

The beer: Irish Red

If you’re eating a burger with smoked cheese or meat, or a burger smothered in barbeque sauce, your best bet for a beer pairing is Garrison’s Irish Red. It’s a classic beer with a touch of sweetness that would compliment but not compete with a smoky flavour. 

“The Irish Red has a lot of malt,” Justin says. “That malt will stand up against smokiness.

Here are some smoky burgers you can find during Burger Bash at restaurants that serve Garrison:

Dutton Burger from Parkside Pub and Smokehouse 

Tiltanator from Tilted Tap Bar & Grill 

The Hop Mess from HopYard Halifax

The bite: spicy, tangy, and heavily seasoned flavours

The beer: Hoppy Boy

An IPA helps to sooth a spicy rush without smothering it entirely. The Hoppy Boy is, just like the name promises, hoppy. It’s also very well balanced between hazy, malty, hoppy and sweet.

“IPA goes with anything spicy. I mean, just look at the name: India Pale Ale. It was invented in India, which has really spicy cuisine. It just works,” says Justin.

Here are some Burger Bash burgers with jalapenos, chili crisp or spicy sauces you can find at restaurants that serve Garrison:

Mushroom Swiss Crunch Burger from Wave Foods at The Local

kaBOOM from BOOOMburger COWS Bedford

Chim-Chorizo Burger from Birch and Anchor

The bite: chicken, fish, and light and fresh flavours 

The beer: Georgia Peach

Garrison’s Georgia Peach is a sour, summery beer, so it goes great with lighter, fresher flavours. 

“Anything chicken or fish would be great. But also anything with some fresh herbs like a burger with salsa for example, even pesto” says Laura Flemming, marketing and events coordinator at Garrison. 

Here are some burgers with chicken, fish or fresher flavours on offer at restaurants that serve Garrison:

JFC Burger (Japanese Fried Chicken) from Ko-Doraku

The Pestolicious Chicken Burger from The Bitter End

Fried Chicken Shawarma from Cheeky Neighbour

McKelvie’s Crunchy Haddock Burger from McKelvie’s

The bite: gamey, dense and meaty flavours

The beer: Juicy! Double IPA

The Juicy! Double IPA is a strong and hoppy brew. A beer like this is powerful and stands out, and it deserves a burger with the same attitude. At the same time, there is a refreshing or “juicy” element to this beer that will help cut stronger flavours.

“When you’re talking about gamier meats like duck or bison, or a burger with an egg yolk, something rich and dense, you want a beer that will cut through that,” says Justin. “That’s Juicy!”

Here are some strong, meaty burgers that you can get at Burger Bash restaurants that serve Garrison:

The Bison from Seaport Social

Peking Duck Burger from Sea Smoke Restaurant

Okonomiyaki Burger from Kyo Kitchen & Bar

The bite: gravies, melted cheeses, sweet and buttery flavours

The beer: Deja Moo  

The Deja Moo is a milk stout. Strong and bold with a touch of sweetness and creaminess from the lactose. This beer is normally paired with desserts: chocolate and coffee flavours go great with this beer that looks like coffee. But don’t overlook its potential to compliment a melty cheese sauce or a rich gravy.

Here are some burgers that might pair well at restaurants that serve Garrison:

Black Sheep Out of Hell from Black Sheep

The RB from Rinaldo’s (Windsor Street and Dutch Village Road)

The bite: anything

The beer: Tall Ship

Tall Ship is a classic east coast ale. Refreshing, simple, easy-going beer that gets along with everyone.

“If you’re getting a classic smash burger or a cheeseburger, Tall Ship is your friend. But Tall Ship will go with anything,” says Justin.

Here are some burgers that might pair well at restaurants that serve Garrison:

Maple Staple from La Piazza Ristorante

The Big Max from Maxwell’s Plum

Il Monarca D’Italia from The Bicycle Thief 

The bonus: Seaport Soda is the non-alcohol option that pairs with everything

If you don’t want a beer, Garrison also has a great selection of sodas. Sweetened with real cane sugar, the Seaport Soda line is Blueberry Cream, Ginger N’ Lime and an award-winning Root Beer.

Here are the burgers at restaurants serving Seaport Soda during Burger Bash:

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