7 Delicious Bites Best Paired with Brew, for Office Happy-Hour Ideas
- Kate Bernot
- 3 Min Read
It’s been a long week at the office, which means it’s happy hour time. With Oktoberfest (September 21 to October 6) coming up, it’s a good time to boost morale with a special happy hour for your office. Given the variety of beers put out by America’s more than 7,000 breweries, planning the perfect pairings of beer and delicious party food doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some of our favorite happy hour ideas for your office.
1. Doughnuts and Coffee Beers
At the office, doughnuts and coffee are predictable, but doughnuts and coffee beer certainly aren’t. The roasty tones in a coffee porter or stout help cut through the sweetness and richness of a frosted doughnut, wrapping up the bite in a smooth, balanced package. This beer and food pairing is so brilliant that it’s one of our favorite ideas for office happy hours and parties.
2. Thai Food and Saisons
If your colleagues look forward to their Thai catering each week, punch up the citrus notes in pad thai or papaya salad with a few bottles of saison at your next office happy hour. These wheat-based beers are bright and lemony, with high levels of carbonation that feel especially refreshing after a spicy spoonful. Plus, creative food and drink pairing ideas like this one are sure to impress the beer fans in your office.
3. Taco Bar and Mexican Lagers
The popularity of imported Mexican beer has exploded in the U.S. over the past few years, so offer your colleagues a variety of choices—Corona, Pacífico, Modelo, Tecate—at your next office happy hour. Then let them discuss which beer pairs best with tacos or nachos. Most imported Mexican beers are easy drinking and summery, making them a fit for almost every palate.
4. Pulled-Chicken Sliders and Porters
As temperatures cool, malty but still easy-drinking porters fit the bill for fall happy hours at the office. In this classically autumnal pairing, chocolaty, roasted-grain flavors temper sweet barbecue sauce. You might find that coworkers who claim not to enjoy darker beers are won over by these light-bodied, balanced brews.
5. Soft-Pretzel Bar and German Lagers
We admit that while this office happy-hour idea is a little predictable, the pairing is popular during Oktoberfest for a reason. Classic German lagers like Oktoberfests, pilsners, and Kölsches are all foolproof companions for tangy, bready pretzels and dipping sauces. Because these beers are heavy on hops or malt, they’ll appeal to even the light-beer drinkers at your office. Put a creative spin on this pairing with a selection of flavored mustards—beer mustard, spicy whole-grain, or dijon—and artisan pickles.
6. Burger Bar and Brown Ales
Balanced and smooth, brown ales are the most versatile of food pairing beers. Their smooth caramel-and-bread malt notes complement the slight char, creamy cheese, and savory toppings of a grilled burger. Make this beer and party-food pairing your go-to idea whenever you need to feed your office a substantial meal during happy hour.
7. Flatbread Pizzas and IPAs
The country’s beloved pizza meets craft beer’s most popular style, the IPA, in a flavorful duo that’s sure to get the party talking. Make pizza an occasion with flatbread pies topped with seasonal vegetables. The range of earthy and spicy flavors in the abundant hops of the IPA highlights tangy tomato sauce or veggie toppings. Pick up a variety of IPAs to inspire discussion. Maybe even poll the team to find the People’s Choice winner.
Create the ultimate office happy hour.