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What type of beer goes well with hearty, 'British' style dinners? What characteristics should I look for?

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    While there seems to be some growing consensus that pairing questions are on-topic, this question is extremely broad. Curries, for example, are a favorite among the Brits (often paired with a lager), while steak pairings depend on seasonings, etc. – JDB Jan 22 '14 at 23:35
  • @JDB - Perhaps—but might it still be an answerable, even useful, question? I do agree that it's somewhat broad—in my attempt to answer this question yesterday, research brought me to various opinions depending on which steak, e.g. Porterhouse versus Filet Mignon, and the only general consensus I was able to extract was: heartier -> darker beers / dryer stouts. Still, the question doesn't seem so broad that it can't reasonably be answered here—if someone was willing to give an overview some of the more common pairings, I think it could help a lot of people! – Andrew Cheong Jan 23 '14 at 16:44
  • @JDB - I guess I'm saying—this seems like a fair question to ask for someone new to pairing, so I think it's possible to be accommodating. If they were asking something like, "How do you pair beer with food?" then, of course, we give them the boot :-) – Andrew Cheong Jan 23 '14 at 16:47
  • @acheong87 - This question doesn't even narrow beer selection down to steaks. The question body itself simply asks about "hearty, 'British' style dinners". Being in private beta at the moment, I don't think this is a great example of the kinds of questions we are looking for. What's next? "What kind of beer should I drink with French food?" A narrower scope would solve the problem. – JDB Jan 23 '14 at 18:08
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This of course is pretty subjective, but I will try to answer it anyway.

I would say that the choice of beer in this case should depend on one of this factors:

  1. You want to accompany or match the taste of the steak and seasoning.
  2. You want to have the beer as a regular drink nearby that does not disturb the taste of the steak.

I will assume that you only use salt and pepper for seasoning.

Case 1:

For this, I would recommend a Dunkel (dark lager). From my experience, it compliments the taste of the steak and seasoning, without disturbing it.
The taste does not sit in your mouth too long, thus if you wait a moment (few seconds) between beer and the mashed potatoes, it should not cause any trouble with them, too.

Case 2:

If the beer is just meant as a drink nearby that should not disturb the taste of the meat, any lighter Pils (pale lager) should be fine.
It does not have a long lasting taste, goes well with mashed potato and does not clash with the steak.

Disclaimer:
I am from Germany, thus my choices might be a bit... regional. All of the above are just personal recommendations, based on my experience.

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The hoppiest of IPAs... They're good at any (preferably every) meal.

Joking aside, I would personally choose something like a porter, though I have a fairly strong bias toward them. Something with a fuller taste seems appropriate though, since (in my opinion) is would work quite well with the potatoes.

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    Completely disagree. The hoppiest IPAs are specifically designed to inhibit your sense of taste, such as Stone's Ruination and Green Flash's Palate Wrecker. While great beers on their own merit, they're terrible partners to a meal, the flavors of which should be accentuated, not obliterated. Your answer may have been intended as humorous, but an accurate answer, it is not. – Xander Jan 28 '14 at 22:05
  • It was mostly in jest, though I really do drink IPAs at many meals, but I'm more likely to cook up some stir fry or make a pizza than a proper meal. In seriousness, with something like steak and potatoes, I'd probably go with a porter. – darwhen Jan 28 '14 at 23:57

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