The discussion of pairing beer with foods and even chocolate has become very popular over the last few years.
There are three Cs of beer pairing:
Compare- Contrast the flavors of the food with the beer choice to highlight the differences in the flavor profile of each.
Complement- Choosing a beer with a flavor that highlights the similar flavors of a dish can really bring out the tastes.
Cleanse- The carbonation of beer makes it a great palate cleanser.
The Brewers Association has created a beer and food pairing guide and many other beer sites give suggestions for pairings. One interesting but historical pairing is chocolate and beer. They were both created prehistorically so most of the beginning of the production is speculative.
Beer and chocolate are also among the oldest processed foods. One discovery in Honduras in 2007 revealed that the some of the first chocolate may have been an accidental byproduct of making beer, due to brewing in cocoa pods.
One of the most popular chocolate pairings is a dark rich chocolate cake, like a flour-less chocolate cake with a dry or Irish Stout. The dark, roasty flavors of the beer complement the dark chocolate cake and the bitterness of the beer is a great contrast to the sweetness of the cake. Then the cold, creaminess of a stout with cleanse the palate between bites of cake.
By considering the flavors you can easily enhance your beer and food enjoying experience.