Pale Ale is the ultimate easy-food beer, so think of what you’re likely to have at a bistro, pub or family restaurant and you can’t go wrong. Burgers? Check. Pizza? Yep. Nachos? Sure. Steak and fries? Why not. The five pale ales in the Top 30 are all generously flavoured so can handle most food assignments, but as a rule they want some salt, fat and/or heat.
With McLeod’s Paradise Pale Ale, offset the gorgeous hoppy notes with some spice but don’t overdo it – think nachos with lots of cheese, sour cream and guacamole. Bayland’s Sky Surfer is a such a well-rounded beer you better believe it wants a well-rounded dish: pizza. Liberty Oh Brother is complexly fruity and bitter, so try some spicy chicken wings. Deep Creek’s Redwood APA has “burger” written all over, while the extra grunt in Cassels APA is looking more for comfort food from the slow-cooker.