Booze | February 10, 2022 7:50 pm

The Best Beers for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner, According to Professional Brewers

Who says you always have to go with wine?

Romantic beers
If you're going for beer instead of wine this Valentine's Day, these are the ones recommended by pros.
Gabriel Serrano

You may currently be more preoccupied with trying to secure the right light beers to have on hand at your Super Bowl party this weekend, but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner as well, and that means the pressure is on to find the perfect boozy beverage to pair with whatever romantic dinner you’ve got planned. Wine is the more obvious choice for a nice candlelit meal, of course. But if you and your date typically prefer beer to other spirits, there’s nothing wrong with cracking open a nice brew to set the mood.

As we said when we rounded up the best bottles to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, beer gets a bad rap; it’s got a reputation for being too unsophisticated or pedestrian to pair with a fancy meal. But there are plenty of rich, complex brews that taste just as elegant as a glass of wine (and some that even retail for as much as $240 a bottle). Anyone who believes there isn’t a beer out there capable of adding the right ambience to a romantic Valentine’s Day meal simply doesn’t know where to find the right one.

To solve for this, we asked a handful of beer industry professionals to tell us their go-to brews for a romantic dinner date, and their recommendations run the gamut from rich, heavy stouts to light, crisp pilsners. Check them all out below; you’re bound to find something to fall in love with.

Jared Williamson, head brewer at Schlafly Beer: pFriem Pilsner

pFriem

Style: Pilsner
ABV: 4.9%

Often when we think of a Valentine’s Day romantic dinner, desserts and sweets come to mind; however, it’s kind of the opposite for me. I’d prefer a versatile beer that pairs well with many foods, something bright and crisp, and for me, that would be pFriem’s Pilsner. Plus, if the romantic dinner was at pFriem Family Brewers’ Pub, we’d be sharing a beer in the Bucolic Hood River, Oregon, and enjoying the views of the Columbia River Gorge, which sounds very romantic to me.


Kevin McGee, CEO of Anderson Valley Brewing Company: Kings & Daughters Wintering

Kings & Daughters

Style: Stout
ABV: 7.3%

My Valentine’s Day pick is from a small, new brewery in Hood River, Oregon called Kings & Daughters. It’s a delicious, deep and soulful stout called Wintering. The pub I was at when I was lucky enough to come across it referred to it as a “cozy stout,” and they were spot on. This beer is snuggles in a glass. The perfect pint for those of us that are still feeling the chill in the air come February 14 and have any inclination whatsoever to curl up in front of a fireplace with someone. Any inclination at all. Could be a cat, too. We don’t judge.


Ben Einhaus, assistant brewmaster at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. …

Kettlehouse Brewing

Kettlehouse Brewing Cold Smoke Scotch Ale

Style: Scotch ale
ABV: 6.5%

And …

Lewis & Clark Brewing

Lewis & Clark Brewing Backcountry Scottish Ale

Style: Scotch ale
ABV: 5.7%

I love a good Scotch Ale in the winter months. Backcountry Scottish Ale from Lewis & Clark Brewing and Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from Kettlehouse Brewing are two of my favorites. A nice, malty sweetness — perfect for cold weather and getting in a little closer!


Danny Connors, innovation manager at Rogue Ales: Hair of the Dog Adam From the Wood

Hair of the Dog

Style: Old ale
ABV: 10%

I recommend Hair of the Dog’s Adam because it’s a little more adventurous than a stout and will pair well with rich desserts. 


Teddy Gowan, director of brewery operations at Societe Brewing Company: Saison Dupont

Dupont Brewery

Style: Saison
ABV: 6.5%

For me it’s Saison Dupont. The wow factor of cracking the cork and how well it pairs with pretty much any food means you’re going to look like you’ve got it together, and it just tastes amazing. I’ve never given that beer to someone and had them not like it.


Brad Bergman, brewing director at Sycamore Brewing: Ommegang Three Philosophers

Brewery Ommegang

Style: Belgian Quadrupel
ABV: 9.7%

This Belgian Quadrupel is blended with a small portion of Kriek, a spontaneously fermented Belgian ale with cherries added. The blend of the two beers creates some really tantalizing flavors while also helping strike a smooth balance of all of the inherent flavors. Clocking in at 9.7% ABV, this beer sets the mood with a slight alcohol warmth and a wide range of tantalizing flavors; figs, plums, raisins and dark fruit flavors intermingle with deeper caramel and toffee notes, while fruity Belgian yeast esters and spicy phenols add character and nuance. Balanced by the slight acidity from the Kriek component in the finish, this beer invites and encourages conversation, which can drive any romantic evening.