Pairing cannabis and beer by flavor
The diversity among cannabis flavors begets innumerable pairing possibilities -- whether with food, wine, beer, or even coffee. In fact, there are so many flavor profiles that it can be intimidating for a beginner to know where to start.
Cannabis’s wide range of flavors are derived from terpenes, which occur naturally in varying concentrations in different cannabis strains. Not only can terpenes offer an array of health benefits to the cannabis consumer, they also provide cannabis with its pungent aroma and flavor. That lemony citrus you smell in Super Lemon Haze, for instance? You can thank limonene for that. Beer flavors, for their part, are dependent on the mash bill, or mix of grains, that was fermented to create the beer, as well as the yeast used during fermentation, the hops, fruit or other ingredients used to flavor the beer, and the wood of the barrels used to store it prior to bottling. In fact, terpenes can have an impact on beer, too: they’re present in hops (botanical relatives of cannabis), which flavor a vast number of beers. The similarities between cannabis and hops can lead to some beers exhibiting a rich, dank or skunky aroma reminiscent of fine cannabis.
A good place for beginners to start pairing is often with descriptively named strains. Agent Orange, for instance, is so named for its juicy orange aroma and flavor, so think of beers that might naturally be complemented by an orange slice; Blue Moon or a summery hefeweizen, for example. If you’re played around with beer and food pairings before, you’re already well on your way to fantastic strain pairings, but regardless of your experience level, there’s simply no substitute for practice. (Good thing that’s the fun part!)
Want more inspiration? Through a rigorous malt-to-terpene matchmaking process, we compiled the following list of beers paired with cannabis strains that complement their unique flavor profiles. Depending on your personal preferences or the ambiance you’re aiming to create, choose an indica, hybrid, or sativa, or try all three and note your favorites for future reference