We talk a lot about wine pairings at COVAP, especially when it comes to Jamón Ibérico. With so many acres of vineyards stretching through Spain, there are loads of phenomenal wines available and thus, picture-perfect wine pairings. But Jamón Ibérico is a vast and expansive food product with so many unique flavors. In other words, you can pair it with many other beverages, including beer!
Beer— this malty elixir of the gods— is consumed frequently in Spain, and in warmer areas sometimes even more than wine. Whether it’s a simple light beer or a special craft beer from your local brewery, there are so many styles of beer that bring out the unique nuances of Jamón Ibérico. In other words, you’ll find yourself with tons of beer-pairing options when it comes time to slice the Jamón.
Though light lagers reign in Spain, you should definitely try out a few other styles of beers and brands with your slices of Jamón Ibérico. If you can get your hands on them, we highly recommend craft beers, where brewers are putting the same kind of care and attention into their product as we do at COVAP. Here’s our two cents:
Light Lagers and Jamón Ibérico
Clear and crisp, these are the kind of beers you want on a hot summer day. They’re super drinkable, have low ABV, and are the most commonly consumed beer in Spain— meaning you’ll see these styles eaten with Jamón Ibérico quite frequently.
- Night Shift Nite Lite Craft Lager
Made with barley and corn, this is a super crisp beer that’s light and even a little bit sweet. It plays beautifully with the Jamón to bring out its natural sweetness.
- Bell’s Brewery Light Hearted Ale
This is a straightforward beer that’s actually made without corn or rice, and instead has two types of hops called Galaxy and Centennial. We like it because these brewers don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to brewing. And that’s exactly how we craft our Jamón Ibérico.
- Jack Abby Framingham Lager
There’s nothing but hops and 100% barley in this one, which accentuates the nutty acorn flavors of Jamon Ibérico.
- Sunday Beer
These folks are very thoughtful about where they source their ingredients, which ultimately creates better flavors in their lager that pair exceptionally well with our well-sourced Jamón. They’re also great about supporting their local economy and donate 1% of their proceeds to environmental and educational organizations in New York.
- Yuengling Light Lager
This super light beer with a carmely malt flavor is the kind of beer you can drink on a patio all day long—accompanied, of course, by a plate of Jamón Ibérico.
Toasted Lagers, Porters, Stouts, and Jamón Ibérico
Toasted lagers, porters, and stouts offer bolder and rounder flavors, as well as a nice burnt caramel or black coffee color. They’re richness offers a solid backbone that pairs exceptionally with jamón without overpowering it. Their individual nuances and bold flavors go hand-in-hand for a gorgeous pairing.
- Blue Point
The toasted lager from Blue Point is brewed with a gorgeous blend of speciality malts toasted over a direct-fire brick kettle, which works well with the Jamón. Despite it’s toasted color, it’s very easy-drinking and tastes delicious in any season.
- Sierra Nevada Porter
This hop-forward beer also has deep malty flavors which offer lots of cocoa and coffee nuances. The richness compliments the Jamón without overpowering it.
- Founders Porter
The Founders Porter is a velvety beer that has sweet and chocolatey notes, with a nice caramelly malt to bring out the subtly sweet aromas of Jamón Ibérico.
- Angry Chair Brewing Awakening
A coffee milk stout made with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs, this is an elegant beer with bold flavors you can enjoy alongside your Jamón. It holds the Jamón’s strength and intensity uin all the right ways.
IPAs and Jamón Ibérico
A little more daring and a little more bold, IPAs are a surprising Jamón Ibérico accompaniment worth trying, especially if you’re a beer aficionado and like to take a little risk.
- Goose Island IPA
A fruity IPA that isn’t overly malted, this refreshing beer is fantastic for warm weather. And warm weather beers like this, which are well-balanced and easy-drinking, tend to be excellent Jamón pairings. And this is definitely one of them.
- Magnolia Brewing Co. Proving Ground IPA
This family-owned brewery makes a fantastic IPA that is bright, crisp, and pairs perfectly with Jamón Ibérico and other Spanish charcuterie. It’s not too heavy or overly hoppy, so it won’t overpower the delicate slices either.
- Interboro Premier IPA
Brewed in Brooklyn, the Interboro Premier IPA gets citrusy and melon notes from four different styles of hops. It’s nice and refreshing and also a dry beer, which lends perfectly to the Jamón’s rich and nutty fat content.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to find the right beer for your tastebuds. Jamón is a pretty dynamic food that works well with some of the most surprising styles of beverages, and that includes a big range of beers. So whether you’re craving a light lager or want to get deeper into some hoppy craft IPAs, you’ll always be able to find the right beer for your beloved Spanish jamón.