Movie night! It’s time to gather your friends for a fun night of watching your favorite flicks. And what goes better with movies than beer? Beer and snack pairings for movie nights might not have been something you would have ever thought of putting together, but really, it should be.
Because whatever your cinematic preferences, no movie is complete without an impressive selection of snacks and beverages. Since we, along with you, have a passion for beer, it seems only fitting that we present you with some flavorsome ideas for beers to pair with your favorite snacks while you enjoy the show.
The Rules of Beer & Snack Pairings for Movie Night
Of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to beer and snack pairing. The best pairing is ultimately always the one that tastes best to you. You do write your own rules. Well, at least we do, so you, should, too.
Nevertheless, a good place to start is with one guiding principle: The tastiest pairings usually result from harmony between the snack flavor and that of the beer. In other words, similar flavor notes work best together. If you really want to nerd out on pairing food and beer together, click here to learn more about the 3 C’s of pairing beer and food.
Perfect Beer & Snack Pairings for Movie Night
But to get you started for movie night, without all the nerdiness (unless you’re eating Nerds) we’ve got some tips and tricks for all the good stuff that pairs with movies…and beer.
Although popcorn is the ultimate movie night staple, not everyone agrees on which popcorn flavor is the tastiest. So we’ve identified the perfect beers to satisfy every popcorn preference.
Buttery Popcorn & Blonde Ale
Buttered popcorn is a pretty light flavor so you don’t want something to overpower the sweet and savory flavor of butter. This makes a light blonde ale a good match.
Give this one a try: Forty Ninth State Brewing’s Blonde Eagle Ale
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Caramel Popcorn & Amber
A malty amber beer already has notes of sweet caramel. This creates a flavor explosion for your taste buds when combined with caramel corn. At the same time, this type of beer is not so sweet as to overpower the caramel deliciousness of your favorite candy-coated popcorn.
Give this one a try: Anderson Valley Brewing Co’s Boont Amber Ale
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Kettle Corn & Pilsner
A pilsner’s subtle flavor profile is not enough to take away from the satisfyingly crisp and delicate flavors of kettle corn, while its crisp mouthfeel is just the right amount of effervescence to make both pop in your mouth (pun intended).
Give this one a try: The Original Pilsner from PilsnerUrquell
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Chocolate Popcorn & Imperial Stout
If chocolate-coated popcorn is your go-to movie night snack, then you can’t go wrong by pairing it with an imperial stout. The smooth yet rich flavors of an imperial stout will balance out, rather than compete with the strong cacao essence of your chocolate-slathered popcorn.
Give this one a try: River North Brewery’s Mr. Sandman
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Cheesy Popcorn & Pale Ale
Pale ales pair with a wide range of foods, and particularly well with cheesy popcorn. The hops in a pale ale are not as strong as those in an IPA but still balance well with the rich flavor of your favorite cheesy popcorn spice.
Give this one a try: Dogfish Head’s The Perfect Pairing
Popcorn and movies go together like beer and biking, but candy and movies are a close second – some may even say candy comes before popcorn. The debate may never have a winner, but pairing candy with beer and a movie is always a winner.
Chocolate (and Peanut Butter) & Stout
Stouts and chocolate are a quintessential pairing. Their flavors come together as if they should have never been apart. Milk stouts, berry stouts, coffee stouts, peanut butter stouts, big stouts, little stouts – all of them love chocolate as much as we do.
Give this one a try: Lefthand’s Milk Stout
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Chewy Candies & Krieks
Twizzlers, Dots, Mike & Ikes, Skittles, Red Hots, all of the candy you loved as a kid are still the flavors you love when watching your favorite flick. And surprisingly a spontaneously fermented ale, such as a lambic or a Kriek pair well with these. The funky tarty fruitiness brings out the flavors in both the candies and the beer.
Give this one a try: New Belgium’s Transatlantique Kriek
French Fries (Salty Snacks) & Golden Ales
The majority of fried, salty foods pair amazingly well with lighter-bodied beers. Sipping on something light will clear your palate so that you can fully appreciate the salty flavor profile of your fries, for example. Although the beer will effectively cleanse your palate, it won’t wash away all the delicious saltiness of your fries.
Give this one a try: Kona Brewing Co’s Big Wave Golden Ale
Spicy Foods & Light Lagers
Indeed, few beverages pair better with spicy foods than a crispy lager. The clean crisp flavors in the lager cuts through the heat from spicy elements like the chilies and peppers on spicy nachos. The beer scrubs your tongue of the spice, dulling the pain of the heat, but not the flavor.
Give this one a try: Upslope Brewing Co’s Craft Lager
Pizza & IPAs
Besides the obvious choice of popcorn, is there really a snack that pairs better with movies than pizza? Well, maybe candy. But some people like pizza. And beer goes well with pizza, especially an IPA. The hops’ bitter flavors balance out the saltiness of the sauce and meats, bringing out flavors in both the beer and the pizza.
Give this one a try: Bell’s Two Hearted IPA
Pairing Beer with Movies
Trying different styles of beers to see what your palette prefers is honestly the best way to find out what fits your style when it comes to pairing beer with food with movies. There are guidelines to get you started, but they’re really just guidelines.
Everybody’s palate is different, so have fun playing with different pairings, especially when it comes to the flicks you love. For example, an action adventure movie might just call for a bold beer, regardless of what snack you’re eating while watching it. The same holds true for a love story. That moment when Jack kisses Sally under the covered bridge calls for a fancy Belgian beer much more than just a light lager.
What movie will you be watching tonight while munching on popcorn and drinking beer?
Maybe you’re a little hungrier than you thought.
Less of a snacking person and more of an eat till you can’t no more person? Check out our guide on popular full blown meals and the beers that pair best with them!
Not quite hungry yet?
Take a look at our guide on exercises while traveling! If you weren’t in the mood for a beer and snack before working out, you definitely will be after!