Learning the Secret to Big Game Beer Pairings at Whole Foods Market in Paramus, NJ: Talking With Cicerone Sean Collier

Whole Foods Market in Paramus has a great selection of local brews, easy to customize into zesty 6 packs to suit all palates
Whole Foods Market in Paramus has a great selection of local brews, easy to customize into zesty 6 packs to suit all palates

When the Seattle Seahawks butt heads with the Denver Broncos on February 2, tailgating fare will take center stage, yet enhancing those flavors and the mood of the festivities hinges on smartly paired libations.  For this challenging task, I turned to certified Cicerone Sean Collier, Wine, Beer and Spirits Team Leader at Whole Foods, Paramus.  You can hear it straight from Sean’s mouth by watching the video below.

Local Brews You’ll Want to Try:

  • Victory Prima Pils – Manufactured in Pennsylvania, this is a German-style beer with a decidedly American twist (hops) which gives it a bright, citrus character.
  • Resin – Brewed out of Brooklyn, this is the go-to beer for hops fanatics.  It is double IPA style and a great way to impress your “beer geek” friends.
  • Brewery Ommegang Witte – Made in Cooperstown, NY, this is a good entry-level craft beer.  It’s refreshing and light on the palate and crafted with a blend of citrus peel and spice.
  • Firestone Wookey Jack – This brew is black like a stout so you get nice, roasted flavors but it also plenty of  hoppy character.
  • Doc’s Hard Apple Cider – This is bottled right in Warwick, NY, and is great for people who want to avoid gluten but still desire a smooth, refreshing, alcoholic beverage.

The Key to Good Beer Pairing:

  • “Hoppy” beers – Brews with plenty of hop character like Resin or Firestone Wookey Jack will have a more bitter taste which means they don’t pair well with spicy foods (they accentuate the spiciness).  They pair better with bland fare like bread and potato dishes.
  • Light beers – The citrus notes in these brews make them extremely versatile.  They go especially great with cheese dishes, Mexican food or anything with a bit of a kick including Buffalo wings, salsa and spicy sausage.
  • Dark beers – The darker, maltier brews often seem rich enough to be a meal in themselves, but if you’re looking for a food pairing you’ll want to bring dark beers together with protein/bread combos like hamburgers or fried chicken.  The toasted flavor of dark beers naturally complements heavy meats and bread.

I love the wine, beer and spirits department at Whole Foods.  Buy a case or a case quantity of wine, beer or spirits and enjoy a discount and reusable tote bag.  While you are stocking up on beer, check out the market’s wide selection of hormone-free and organic meats ranging from Hot Italian Pork Sausage to Petite Top Loin Roast.  To save you a little extra time on game day, WF has ready-to-go bacon and cheddar beef burger patties and football shaped meatloaf with marinara sauce (that’s right – little meatloaf footballs).

Coarsely ground beef with 15% fat is what's preferred in chili making.
Coarsely ground chuck is ideal for hearty chili making.  Adding a dash of cocoa with spices like chile adds depth.
A sausage for for every palette.
Sausage for upping chili’s flavor or grilling.
Wings, the quintessential game day food
Marinated wings in multiple varieties and heat levels, the quintessential game day food.
Top it all off with a football cake.
Top it all off with a football cake.

Game on.

Whole Foods Market, Paramus, NJ
300 Bergen Town Center
Paramus  New Jersey  07652
8am to 10pm seven days a week

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