Pairing Sushi & Pilsner: A Perfect Match

Take your Sushi experience to the next level and pair it with an expertly crafted beer! From a light and crisp Pilsner to a complex ale, there are endless possibilities to choose the perfect accompaniment for your next sushi feast. But did you know the Pilsner has become the 'go-to' beer for many Asian cuisines? With the vast array of sushi dishes available, there is sure to be a beer that marries perfectly with your favorite fish-- whether it's a delicate variety or a fatty toro or oily mackerel. So, it's time to discover the perfect beer for your sushi experience!

Sushi and beer is one of the oldest food and drink combinations in the world. This age-old classic, originating in Japan and other countries in East Asia, was embraced by the rest of the world in the 19th century and can now be enjoyed in many restaurants around the world. This article will discuss the history of this pairing, the beer and sushi varieties that work best together and the different types of beer that are suitable for sushi.

The History of Sushi and Beer

The origins of the sushi and beer pairing can be traced back to the 6th and 7th centuries in Japan, where anglers and fishermen needed sustenance while out on the water in their boats. Sushi, developed as a way to preserve and salt-cure fresh fish, would be consumed along with beer and sake. Since then, the sushi and beer pairing has been embraced by cultures around the world, and today various types of sushi and beer can be found on the menus of many Asian and Western restaurants.

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What are the Best Beer and Sushi Varieties for Pairing?

When it comes to pairings, sushi and beer is best enjoyed with light-bodied beers that don't overpower the delicate flavors of the fish. Pale lagers and ales, such as pilsner, are the go-to for most Asian cuisines. Rich and flavorful fish, such as a fatty toro or oily mackerel, can stand up to a more complex ale. When pairing with eel, amber ales and brown ales are the way to go. For spicy sushi, an IPA or wheat beer is recommended.

Which Types of Beer are Suitable for Sushi?

When it comes to choosing a beer for eating sushi, the type of beer you should choose depends largely on the type of sushi you are eating. Here are some of the best styles of beer for sushi:

  • Pilsner: Crisp and light, the pilsner is the standby beer for most Asian cuisines. Pilsners are delicate and don't overpower the flavor of the fish.
  • Amber and Brown Ales: Amber and brown ales are perfect for richer fish such as eel. They have a malty sweetness and a robust flavor that goes well with richer fish.
  • Wheat Beer: Wheat beers are light-bodied and slightly sweet, so they pair well with spicy sushi. Wheat beers also have a floral aroma that can enhance the flavor of the fish.
  • IPA: IPAs are a great choice for spicy sushi, as their hops can help to cut through the spice and bring out the flavors of the fish. IPAs should be paired with fish that can hold up to the bitterness of the hops.
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Tips for Pairing Sushi and Beer

When pairing sushi and beer, it is important to remember a few key tips:

  1. Balance your flavors: Make sure to find a balance between the flavors of the beer and the flavor of the sushi. If one of the flavors is overpowering the other, it is not a good pairing.
  2. Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment with different sushi and beer pairings. You may be surprised to discover new and interesting flavor combinations.
  3. Drink responsibly: Although beer and sushi is a delicious pairing, it can lead to overconsumption if not enjoyed responsibly.


When it comes to pairing sushi and beer, there are a variety of beer and sushi combinations that can be enjoyed. From light-bodied pilsners to robust IPAs, there is a beer for every type of sushi. When pairing beer and sushi, keep in mind the flavor profile of each beer and choose wisely. With a little bit of experimentation, you can find the perfect pairing for your sushi and beer combination.

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