Planning an elegant beer pairing dinner at your place but need a little help matching up your courses with the right beer? Or maybe you’re out on a Sunday Funday lunch at a restaurant that has a million different options of beer and you have no idea what will taste best with the food you ordered?
Now there’s pairing help on the fly and at your finger tips thanks to the Pairwise 2.0 app which comes out Oct 29, 2015. Get this – It’s FREE. Free? Yep! Plus, it’s available for both iPhones and Androids. Sweet!
WHAT IS PAIRWISE?
I was fortunate enough to have a sneak peek throughout the development of the app – offering feedback along the way. It was fun to wear both my Beer Expert hat and my User Experience hat to help shape how the beer pairing tool works. I can’t take a ton of credit, though. The whole thing is made possible by the brilliant minds of Nate Brown (CEO), Jim Brooks (Developer), Dan Hamel (Developer) and Bernie Rissmiller (Developer) who saw a need to help foodies, beer enthusiasts and the every day person make informed decisions about beer and food pairings.
With so many beer styles to choose from, it can get quite overwhelming for folks to figure out what the flavor profiles of each brew is. Abbey Triple Strong Goldens, Aged Sours, Altbiers, Hefeweizens, Maibocks… oh my! Sure you may have heard of these styles and know what they taste like, but imbibers who are perhaps moving from their go-to of wine or fancy cocktail in an effort to explore beer will find this app very useful. Beer enthusiasts who know exactly what beer they want may not know what type of food will enhance their selection for a more enjoyable eating/drinking experience.
WHAT THE APP DOES
The app currently has 160 beer styles, 1,200 food types and 44,000 specific beers to pull from in its database. And, that list will continue to grow as more breweries join the app to add their own beer offerings.
How does the app know what to pair together? The recommendations are based on knowledge learned from sources like the Brewer’s Association and Garrett Oliver’s book, The Brewmaster’s Table.
Also, as users of the app rate their pairings, those that get a consistently low score time and time again will be adjusted in the database to no longer be recommended.
The first being the “Brew Master” tool. If you know what food you want to eat but need a beer to go along with your selection, this tool will guide you. Simply start typing what you will be eating in the search field, for example “Burger.” A list will appear with various burger types. Choose the one that best describes what you ordered and boom, a list of beer styles appears that will make a perfect pairing.
But that’s not all, you can select a beer style from the list and see specific beers that fit that style category. The recommendations can return results from either local breweries or any brewery in the country. Just toggle the “Local” feature “on” or “off” depending on what you’d like to explore.
The second way to get pairing options is by using the “Chef’s Choice” tool. If you’re at a specific brewery or you know what brewery’s beer you’ll be drinking at home or anywhere, just start by typing in the name of the brewery into the search field. Bam! You get a list of beers by that brewery. Click the one you are drinking or want to drink and you’ll get food recommendations that pair well with it.
If you know the specific beer, like Hopgasm from Pizza Boy Brewing, type “Hopgasm” into the search field and you’ll get food pairings that work well with that beer’s flavor profile. Cool, right?!
Share Your Pairing
Once you’ve experienced your beer and food pairing, let everyone know how it was. Was it the most delicious thing ever? Did you get to try a beer style you’ve never ever drank before? Rate your experience and share on Facebook and Twitter with your friends by using the “Pair + Share” tool.
At this time, you can’t explain your rating in a comment. For instance, maybe the beer style just wasn’t your thing but the food was delicious, you can’t explain that. So it really is hard to say what about the pairing didn’t work for you. Perhaps that might be added in the next iteration of Pairwise?
Learn More About Beer
The “Wise Guide” tool is an informative library of beer styles listed in alphabetical order. Pick a style you want to learn more about and presto! You’ll see what the style tastes like and get helpful recommendations on foods that pair well with it.
It makes for good reading while waiting for your food and beer to arrive. I’m always looking for something to do in that awkward lull – especially if I’m dining solo. It’s a good way to learn about beer styles you’ve never tried and to brush up on your overall beer knowledge.
It’ll make you look hella smart when a friend asks you, “What on earth is a Belgian-style Quadrupel?” Whip out your Pairwise 2.0 app and you’re an instant expert.
HOW DO I GET THIS APP?
The free app can be downloaded in the AppStore for iPhone and iPad users and on Google Play for Android users. There you’ll find system requirements and more details about what the app can do. You now will be on your way to being a food and beer pairing whiz kid. Have fun and pair well!
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