Cigars & Craft Beer Pairings

Contrary to popular belief, cigars can pair just as well with beers as its traditionally favoured partner, whisky. The immense growth of the craft beer industry throughout the last decade has also led to a maturation of the beer market. As a result, the availability of beer choices has come to be just as nuanced and full of depth as cigars – both vary from dark to light, creamy to bright, and strong to mild.

There are many styles of craft beers available, and even more variance within each category, so finding an appropriate pairing can take some time. Additionally, beer’s natural carbonation may be a contentious point. Some say its fizziness can be distracting, but in reality, it can bring a bright crispness that feels cleansing and refreshing when contrasted with a cigar.

Ultimately, a good pairing is one that can bring you the most enjoyment. Though it may take some experimentation to find a combination that speaks to you, the end result will be worth all the effort. By taking you through some of our favorite cigar choices for the most popular styles of beer, we hope to provide some guidance on how to begin pairing beers with cigars

IPA

IPAs (Indian Pale Ales) have always held a unique position within the craft beer market, striking a perfect balance between sweet and hoppy. Its crisp and bitter finish makes it ideal for pairing with smooth cigars with syrupy and sweet undertones.

Ballast Point Even Keel Session IPA & Saint Luis Rey Regio

This light and hoppy IPA brings together silky malt flavours with a bright profile of citrus and herbs. This particular choice is perfect for a leisurely day during the summer months, with a milder taste than most IPAs that ends in a smooth and crispy finish. It can also be the ideal partner for an equally smooth cigar full of deep flavours like the Saint Luis Rey Regio. This cigar will first bring contrasting earth flavours with hints of plum and cinnamon. Then, it transitions into lighter floral and fruity notes, bringing it together with the citrus hop profile of the IPA.

PALE ALE

Pale ales, traditionally referred to as “bitters” to distinguish them from sweeter beers, come with a signature hop character with fruity and citrus aromas. One of the easiest types of craft beers to drink, pale ales are a good choice for casual, conversational occasions. Consequently, they go well with medium-strength cigars with a plush and warm palate that are comparably easy to enjoy as well.

Tuatara Kapai Aotearoa Pale Ale & La Aurora 107 Corona

The Aotearoa Pale Ale is full of fruity flavours like citrus, pineapple, and white grape but remains full of hop. With strong tropical fruit notes that veer on the tart side, this beer then finishes with a clean mouth feel perfect for contrasting with a richer cigar like the La Aurora 107 Corona. This sweet, leathery cigar brings rich tastes of warm cocoa and spices, which is an exquisite counterbalance to the tartness exhibited by this beer.

PORTER

Originally brewed for the working class of London’s bustling streets, porters come with a full, well-rounded texture but a mild, approachable flavour. This makes them great for pairing with similarly full-bodied cigars with even deeper and more intense flavours.

Sierra Nevada Porter & Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto II

This particular porter was brewed in the hop-heavy American style, which produces a dark, medium-bodied ale matched by a salted caramel flavour and blackcurrant notes. Its rich, chocolatey notes greatly complement the espresso, pepper and vanilla flavours of the Alma Fuerto Sixto II. Together, they provide a cohesive experience full of indulgent flavours that confirm just how timeless the combination of roasted malt, chocolate and espresso is.

PILSNER

Despite a characteristically hoppy flavour, pilsners remain light in hue and taste, especially when compared to pale ales. This makes them the perfect summertime drink and a great match for earthy cigars with some bite to it.

Wolf Of The Willows Pils & Romeo & Julieta Cazadores

This Australian Pilsner from Wolf of the Willows is brewed with all Aussie malts and presents a clean fruity and floral aroma with a rich mouthfeel. Its finish is crisp and especially dry with some bitterness, making it perfectly suited for a day in the outdoors. Consider pairing this with an outdoorsy cigar like the Cazadores (which means ‘hunters’ in Spanish) from Romeo & Julieta. This is undoubtedly a strong cigar, with a deliberate bitterness that can mirror its counterpart in the pilsner. For a day of adventures or outdoorsy gatherings, this is the perfect pair.

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