Beer and Food Pairing: A Curry Dish and Saison Dupont

Today’s pairing is more of an idea than an actual pairing.  I was inspired at a recent Christmas dinner for the bartenders at the bar that I manage.  We were at Copper, an excellent Indian restaurant in the Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte.  However, their beer list is less than stellar.  Therefore, we were drinking wine.  Nothing against wine.  In fact, the pinot noir we drank was excellent.  However, as I drank I could not help but think, “A beer would be better with this meal.”  Why did I think that?

Well, there is the obvious that I work in the beer industry and I have a beer blog and beer is one of my favorite things on Earth.  There is also the stone fact that beer is better with some foods than wine because of the cooked nature of beer and the way the carbonation in beer scrubs the palate.

On to the meal and the pairing.  First, the naan was outstanding.  I will eat naan without any tzatziki or any other condiment.  Second, my entrée was equally outstanding.  I had the Yukon gold-green beans-mushrooms curry served with Goan style coconut-chili sauce, garlic, and vinegar.  The pinot noir we were having with dinner fought valiantly, but it did not quite work with the spicy nature of the dish.

So, my mind started working.  I needed a beer light on the palate, crisp enough to cut through the spiciness and creaminess, and yet spicy enough on its own to handle the spicy nature of the curry.  What was my answer?

Saison Dupont
Photo by Ryan Moses

Saison Dupont is my favorite beer.  In this case not only is it my favorite beer, but it is the perfect beer to pair with a spicy dish such as this.

Let’s start with why a saison before we get to why this saison and you will see why I picked it.  Saisons are crisp, refreshing, and dry.  Just what you want to cut through a creamy, spicy food.  Then they also tend towards a spicy and citrusy taste both of whom complement most curry dishes.  Why this particular saison?  This the saison all other saisons strive to emulate.  You remember how everyone wanted to be like Mike?  This the same thing.

In a subjective business, like beer rating calling something the G.O.A.T. is almost pointless.  I may not be able to say Saison Dupont is the G.O.A.T., but I can say, you will be hard-pressed to find a saison that hits every checkmark when you look at the BJCP style guide with such exacting beauty.  It is crisp and with its touch of citrus cuts through the spice and cream.  The hint of pepper also makes it a compliment to the curry’s heat and spice.  Its carbonation gives it bright refreshing taste the scrubs the palate and has a perfect dry finish.

So, this particular saison because this particular saison is the almost perfect representation of the form which makes it ideal for this particular meal.

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