Grab a brew and a stogie too; it’s time to talk beer and cigars.
While whiskey usually steals the spotlight on what people recommend enjoying while smoking a cigar, beer is most definitely the unsung hero of drink and cigar pairings. But beers can be challenging to pair and often even more polarizing than cigars, so it can seem an intimidating task to know exactly which cigars go with which beers.
Fear not, young padawan, because we wrote this article to solve that problem. So now’s the time to take a sip of that beer we told you to grab and get ready to become an expert on how to pair beer and cigars.
Does beer go with cigars?
*scoffs* OF COURSE IT DOES! If you’re here asking this question, we’re going to assume that you’re a fan of beer, so you should know that beer goes great with everything, including cigars.
The key to pairing a premium cigar with a fantastic beer is finding the sweet spot where your cigar's strength and flavor profile align with the strength and flavor profile of your beer.
Allow us to elaborate. Let’s say you were to pair a very hoppy IPA with a very mellow cigar; the intensity of flavor in the beer may overpower the light and smooth flavors of your cigar. Conversely, if you were to smoke a full-bodied and spicy cigar while sipping on a hefeweizen, the strength of your cigar would likely contrast and even eclipse the flavors of your beer.
As with all of our pairing guides, we want to say that this is all very subjective. Some people may enjoy pairings we wouldn’t recommend. It comes down to finding delicious pairings you love; we simply hope to provide you with a great starting point.
- Pair more mellow cigars with lighter and smoother flavored beers
- Pair a medium to full-bodied cigar with medium to deep amber beers and less intense IPAs
- Pair a full-bodied cigar with hoppy IPAs, darker beers and stouts
What beers go best with cigars?
There’s an easy answer to the question: what beers go best with cigars? All of them! With premium tobacco grown worldwide to form innumerable tasty blends, there's always a great beer and cigar pairing to be had.
So this is a pretty broad category that we are going to say includes all of the big brand light beers (American Lagers) and some other lighter craft beers like hefeweizen and German Pilsners. For these, we recommend a mellow cigar that has a nice smooth flavor profile and citrus or vanilla notes.
When thinking about Saisons, light, sour and fruity are the general descriptors that come to mind. Usually, we would recommend something similar to our light beer recommendations, but a more mellow to medium but very fruity and flavorful cigar would be our suggestion for saisons.
As your beer gets darker and darker, it’s a good general rule of thumb to pair the body of your cigar to match. For our middle-of-the-road lagers, you’re going to want to start moving into more medium-bodied territory for your cigar pairings. We’d suggest pairing the caramel and slightly malty notes of your lager with a cigar with slightly sweet and earthy notes.
While not all IPAs are as dark as lagers, the signature hoppy flavor in IPAs bumps them up the flavor profile to be best enjoyed with more medium to full-bodied cigars. The strong aroma and bitter notes will pair nicely with more earthy and leathery notes usually found in fuller stogies.
Porters and Stouts
Porters and stouts are the wild cards when it comes to pairing with your cigars. If you have a chocolate or oatmeal stout, the smooth vanilla notes in a mellow cigar might be your perfect pair. Conversely, the dark roasted barley and malt flavors in these dark beers would also pair well with an earthy and spicy cigar. You can’t go wrong in pairing a cigar with either of these dark beers.
Find your perfect beer and cigar pairing
Still not quite sure where to start your cigar and beer journey? Check out our Find Your Perfect Cigar feature below.
What’s your favorite cigar and beer pairing?
Hopefully, you loved the article; now we want to know: What are your favorite cigar and beer pairings? Let us know in the comments so we can give them a try!