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A Beer Lover’s Guide to Dig IN

By Jason Lee | August 18, 2013

I have to admit, I may be a little partial to beer. Ok, I’m very partial. I like wine, but in my opinion, beer is where it’s at! Every year Dig IN showcases some of the finest local food and drink from the state of Indiana. As a born and bred Hoosier, this excites me. There’s something special about being able to sample the freshest local produce and meat available.

During Dig IN there will be a wide variety of cuisine and beer. (Take a peak at the breweries coming to Dig IN this year.) Matching it all up would be a bit much. Just try to enjoy the event and have fun!

When I’m dining out or cooking at home, choosing the perfect brew makes the experience all the better. With so many styles of beer to choose from, pairing food and beer can seem like a daunting task.

I usually try to keep it simple. One general rule that I use would be to pair like with like. Hoppy, bolder beers pair well with spicier, bolder dishes. Malty, milder beers pair better with milder dishes.

Take time to examine the flavor profile of what you’re drinking. Once you determine common flavor profiles, pairing will begin to make sense. A big beer needs big flavors. Big beers can really dominate whatever they are paired with. When it’s all said and done, your beer should compliment your food. If you’re unsure, ask your local brewer – they would be happy to offer suggestions.

Here’s another overlooked aspect of food and beer pairing. Focus on what you like. An IPA does pair well with a spicy dish. But what if you’re not a hophead? Once again, don’t get hung up on rules or guidelines — if you find a beer that you like, drink it. There’s no shame in sticking with what you like.

Dig IN is also a great time to expand your beer knowledge, or maybe try a new style. Take a second and speak with the brewers. Brewmasters often create beers with certain flavors in mind. They can educate you on the subject as well.

Dig IN is one of my favorite times of the year. It truly is a great showcase of local food and beverage. On August 25, take advantage of the delicious bounty Indiana has to offer!

Jason Lee is an enthusiastic culinary mind, avid homebrewer and member of the #DigIN Gastronauts. He is an advocate for local food and beer. Be on the lookout for his new food and beer blog coming soon. You can follow him on Twitter @indybrewchef.

Tickets for Dig IN, A Taste of Indiana are available now. Get yours here!