It’s a good time to be a beer drinker.

Craft brewers produced 25 million barrels of beer in 2018. With more and more craft breweries opening their doors every day, there are lots of great beers out there to fit anyone’s tastes.

That exploding industry has created some pretty incredible opportunities for cigar and beer pairings. And with a growing interest in craft beer has come a growing interest in cigar and beer pairings.

Choosing the best cigar and beer pairings

How to choose a cigar that matches your favorite beer is like all things concerning flavor: subjective. Some might swear by one pairing, others might not like it at all. It’s about experimenting with different combinations of flavors and finding ones that suit your taste.

And that’s part of the fun of it.

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Rules of Cigar Pairings

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to cigars and drinks — but a general rule of thumb for cigar pairings is not to let one overwhelm the other.

IE. Don’t mix a full-bodied cigar with a super light beer, or a Hoppy IPA with a mild cigar.

"The type of beer you drink should compliment your cigar, not counteract it. "

When it comes to cigar and beer pairings, there is one rule that you hear again and again: try to match the type of cigar with the type of beer. That means milder cigars with lighter beers and full-bodied smokes with heavier beers. This helps avoid one half of the pairing overwhelming the other.

You can also try to create cigar and beer pairings around common flavors. For example, a stout with hints of chocolate and espresso could meet its match in a cigar with similar flavors.

Our top cigar and beer pairings:

With those simple rules in mind, here a few pairings to get you started:

CAO MX2 and Flying Dog Brewery’s Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout

MX2’s rich, earthy notes complement the dry, slightly bitter nuances of this craft brew from Maryland.

Hoyo De Monterrey Dark Sumatra and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

The soft mouthfeel of the beer works well with the smoke’s creamy texture, and their chocolate flavors also match each other.

La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age and Allagash White

Gilded Age’s notes of spice play nicely with the subtle spiciness of this Belgian-style wheat.

Cohiba Black and Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre

This deep brown ale with hints of raisin and sugar complements Cohiba Black’s combination of bold and sweet flavors.

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