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What's a good style or specific beer that would pair with mussels?

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These answers are great! Update on what I'm actually eating tonight and need to pair with - it will have saffron, salmon, wine, cream. But, the overall answers are wonderful as well. – hookedonwinter Dec 15 '09 at 1:19
up vote 8 down vote accepted

First off, mussels steamed in beer is FREAKING amazing.

Second off, the perfect pairing for mussels depends on the sauce in which they are prepared.

Mussels in white wine or wit beer sauce -- Flavor of mussels is light and delicate and need not be overpowered with extreme beer. This style goes best with a Wit Bier, Hefeweizen or a Saison.

Mussel marinara -- Tomato sauce is highly acidic and needs a beer with a higher hop content. I would go with a Pale Ale. If the marinara is spicy, I would go with an IPA.

Mussels in curry sauce -- Usually prepared with a cream (coconut) base. The heaviness of the cream and the spice of the curry makes this an excellent pairing with lighter styles -- such as a Czech Pilsners -- as well as maltier styles -- such as a Belgian Dubbel or Dobbelbach.

When in doubt, the saison style is my favorite pair with mussels.

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Gueuze! Mussels steamed in gueuze, accompanied by french fries and more gueuze.

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Man, I effing LOVE gueuze. Don't think I have any though :( – hookedonwinter Dec 15 '09 at 1:20

Belgian wit. Especially if the mussels are in a rich sauce, the spritzy carbonation of a wit will cut right through it and cleanse your palate between bites. Plus, pairing the delicate flavor of the wit will let the mussels shine!

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Depends how you're cooking them, but if it's brothy dish or they're being steamed, it's tough to go wrong with a good witbier, saison or tripel. Maybe Bruery Orchard White, Saison Dupont, or Tripel Karmeliet.

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Ever heard of an oyster stout? The delicate, earthy flavor of mussels goes very well with a dry Irish stout or a porter.

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I had Moose Drool with mussels at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Vegas and thought it was the perfect combination.

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A Sauvin Pilsner using Hallertau and sauvin hops. A good example is the Twisted Hop Sauvin Pils from NZ

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