How beer can make Canada’s best dishes better



Long accepted that every prepared dish has a wine that will make it better, it has only been recently that a similar approach is taking hold with beer. 

But with such a diverse number of beers on the market, there is likely a food with it pairs exceptionally well. And just like wine, there are certain types of beer that pair better with specific foods. In Canada, where beer is such an important part of our food and drink culture, it is only natural that we look for strong pairings that will create a new experience for our collective palates. 

“No longer are food pairings solely the domain of the wine world,” says Tim McLaughlin, Director of Marketing at Steam Whistle Brewing. “We are Canada’s pilsner, and pair well both with foods that are uniquely Canadian and those enjoyed by our diverse, multicultural population.” 

Made with only four ingredients and adhering to the strict standards of the Bavarian Purity Act of 1516, Steam Whistle is Canada’s premium pure pilsner. Going across Canada. Tim offers the following food suggestions to put together a truly Canadian food and pilsner experience.

  • East Coast — Canadian Maritimers have built a rich heritage on what they can pull from the ocean. Oysters are a delicate catch, so you don’t want a beer that will overpower them. If fried oysters are on the plate, the hops in a pure pilsner will cut through the breading while respecting the oyster within. If you happen to be in Halifax, you need to have a famous Halifax Donair. The sweet sauce used in the Nova Scotia capital is unlike any donair sauce you have ever had, and is great with a crisp and refreshing pilsner.

  • Quebec — Rib-sticking split pea soup is as Quebecois as a dish comes. And not only does the slight hoppy flavours in a Steam Whistle match up perfectly with the rich soup, it is also ideal to be used as part of the soup. Add a bottle of the beer while cooking for a unique twist on this classic. It is also worth noting the green Steam Whistle bottle also looks great beside the green soup.

  • Ontario — Ontario is home to the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany, and everybody knows pilsner is THE beer of the traditional festival. The traditional food of Oktoberfest is the bratwurst, making it a great pair with a pure pilsner. The beer really brings out the sweetness of the boiled sausage.  

  • Prairies — The mild bitterness of pilsner balances out the sweetness found inside the Saskatoon Berry Pie, a staple across Canada’s Midwest. The sweet, earthy flavours of the Saskatoon berry — similar in appearance to a blueberry — mirror the natural qualities of Steam Whistle almost perfectly. 

  • Alberta — The crispness of a pilsner calls for a fatty cut of meat. Nowhere in Canada will you find better steaks than those raised on the cattle farms of Alberta. Look for a premium cut of Alberta steak with a high marble content, such as a ribeye. Cooked properly, the meat will practically melt in your mouth, with the fat cleared away by the fresh bitterness of the beer. 

  • British Columbia — For much the same reasons your SteamWhistle pairs well with marbled steaks from Alberta, fatty, oily fish like the Wild Pacific Salmon caught off the coast of B.C. are ideal for a pure Canadian pilsner. 

  • Territories — Sticking with the seafood theme, there are no freshwater fish found further north than the arctic char. Battered and fried, it is a staple in Canada’s far north. The slightly hoppy nature of a pilsner takes care of the crisp outside and the refreshing finish of the beer complements the fish wonderfully. 

  • Multiculturalism — Canada is rightly proud of its multicultural mosaic. Not tied to a specific region of the country, foods enjoyed by the hundreds of cultures that make of Canada are spread coast to coast. When looking for something to pair with a Steam Whistle, think spicy. Traditional Mexican is a great pair, as are Indian dishes like tandoori chicken or most anything spicy off a Thai menu. 

“There are literally countless suggested food pairings you can enjoy with a pilsner, but no matter what the experts say, no one knows what you like more than you do,” says McLaughlin. “Play around a bit and experiment with your favourite foods while enjoying an ice cold Steam Whistle, and see what new flavour experiences you can uncover. We’d love to hear about them on social media!”