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“Follow the rules or let personal preferences rule the day?”

With the explosion of craft beers on the Canadian suds-scape, it’s easier than ever to find new and exciting combinations of food and drink. But all this variety can be a bit overwhelming, so here are some words of advice from a few local experts.

According to Rick Doyle, co-owner of Toboggan Brewing Company, many suggestions for pairing food and wine can be applied to beer. “With grilled or smoked meats, serve a fuller flavored beer, like an amber or a stout but with something lighter, like salad or fish, try a blonde or a wheat beer,” he advises.

Milos Kral, owner of Milos Craft Beer Emporium, says when picking food pairings, wheat or blonde beers can be substituted for white wines, while darker beers can be enjoyed in place of reds. Try a glass of stout or porter with a heavier meat dish, like lobster or steak, he suggests – and wheat or blonde beer with your favourite fish or chicken dish.

Wayne Newton, who describes himself as an “omnivore of the beer world” and often writes about craft beer for national newspapers, says choosing the right pairings is a personal pursuit. “Go with what tastes good to you,” he adds, noting many crafters websites offer tasting notes.

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