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Mmm…hops and colors…

My biggest problem with beer is that you can’t have it for dinner. That is, it’s perfectly acceptable with dinner, but it turns out that a physically sustainable diet requires supplementary sources of nutrition, often in the form of meals.

If you, like me, face this problem every day, the blog barleydine can point you toward some solutions. Each post features a beer and a food pairing, and the fare ranges from full dinners and fine cheeses to, um, Snickers bars. Sometimes they just describe the beer and give you the basics of pairing — malty beers with grilled meat, hops perked up by spicy food, etc. — but sometimes they go into full-on dish mode, like this post about Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. OK, it’s just a taco salad. But the authors take care to soften the spicy flavors with sour cream and avocado (which is crucial because spice is the first thing to mask a good beer’s intricacies), and toss in some chicken to bolster Two Hearted’s underlying honeyish sweetness.

For more detailed info, peruse their site for recipes, and you might keep their list of basic pairing guidelines on hand if you’re putting together a nice beer dinner.