Is Beer a Comfort Food? We Think So


Every winter, we seem to be drawn to comfort food. And whether it’s meatloaf, pizza, or pozole, beer seems to pair perfectly with all our favorite mid-winter staples. However, our beer specialists at SpartanNash want to take this mindset one step further: we think beer deserves its own recognition as a comfort food! 

What Is Comfort Food? 

According to Merriam-Webster, comfort foods are “food[s] prepared in a traditional style [and] having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” Many of our comfort foods provide simple joys, remind us of our childhood, and pack enough hearty satisfaction to fill the emptiest of stomachs. 

Everyone has their personal comfort foods and food memories, but some dishes have become iconic for their ability to provide warmth and happiness. Pot roast, macaroni and cheese, tomato soup paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, and chicken pot pie all make a home in kitchens nationwide during the colder months. 

We think it’s time to add beer to this list. Beer is a welcoming, crowd-pleasing beverage whose flavors and aromas can evoke happy memories of shared moments with families and friends. Many beers are hearty and can help quench a rumbling appetite. This winter, when you plan your favorite comforting meals, make sure you add beer to the menu. 

Pairing Beer With Your Favorite Comfort Foods 

Beer is an incredibly versatile beverage. You can find a beer that goes well with any menu you can imagine, from a simple pub-style hamburger to a five-course gourmet meal. 

While the beer specialists in our SpartanNash stores would love to meet you and help you find your perfect beer pairing in person, we’ve written up a few ideas here to inspire you and jump-start your creativity. 

Brown and Amber Ales 

You’ll find that brown and amber ales go well with many classic comfort foods, especially pot roast, meatloaf, and chicken pot pie. These beers’ toasty, caramelized flavors match well with rich and hearty foods. We’d recommend trying either Bell’s Amber Ale or a Short’s Brewing Company Bellaire Brown Ale. 

Lagers and Pilsners 

When you say “beer,” many people immediately think of lagers and pilsners. These crisp, refreshing brews strike a balance between hop and malt flavors, which helps them match nicely with everything from nachos and pizza to a perfectly roasted chicken. Some of our favorite pilsners and lagers for the winter months include Founders Solid Gold, Bell’s Lager of the Lakes, and Modelo Especial. 

Stouts and Porters 

Dark beers bring sweetness and richness that accentuate hearty, full-flavored comfort foods. Beers like New Holland Brewing Dragon’s Milk and Founders Breakfast Stout go great with chili, shepherd’s pie, barbecue, and even ice cream. 

On Sale This Week: Modelo Especial 

Modelo’s Mexican-style pilsner provides easygoing refreshment and pairs well with a wide range of winter comfort foods. Pick up a 12-pack this week for an unbeatable price at your local SpartanNash store.