It’s almost that time of year – the Craft Beer Festival Fundraiser – and we’re super excited for all the amazing craft brewers showing up this year. But it wouldn’t be a proper festival without food, and there are some mouthwatering offerings to be served up this year. Three unique food trucks will line up to fill you up as you taste your way through all the craft brews.

You can choose from three pierogi flavors from Jaju Pierogi, which of course means finding three great beers to pair them with.
Courtesy of Jaju

Jaju Pierogi
Pair the cheesy potato goodness of Jaju’s signature pierogi with a mild Pilsner or Festbier, in the style you might find from Castle Island Brewing Co. (Norwood, MA). To match the delicious eat-ability of pierogi, look for a easy drinking Lagers or Pale Ales from breweries like Big Elm (Sheffield,MA), and Moon Hill Brewing Co. (Lexington, MA) – beers that won’t overwhelm subtle flavors. To complement the spicy cheesiness of the jalapeno cheddar pierogi, grab Dreaming of Summer from Flying Dreams (Worcester, MA), and look for Belgian Blondes or fruity Pale Ales from True North Ale Company (Ipswitch, MA) as easy foils for the hearty kielbasa and red pepper pierogi.

Rich, cheesy sandwiches and truffle fries pair with a wide range of local beer options from pale ales to summer seasonals.
Courtesy of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Burgers

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese
If you’re in for the melty cheese and hearty fillings of Roxy’s sandwiches, you might want to head for a Pale Ale at Berkshire Brewing Company (South Deerfield, MA) or Aeronaut Brewing Co. (Somerville, MA). Aeronaut’s Citra-Galexy Session IPA is also the sort of beer that will cut through any greasiness without cutting out flavor. A classic Pilsner from Idle Hands (Malden, MA), or a distinctly beer-like Cider from Prospect Ciderworks (Boston, MA) will also accompany meaty, cheesy stacks, as well as truffle fries. For a light option, try the summery, refreshing Love Ale from Wash Ashore Beer Co. (Martha’s Vineyard).

Amigos Locos
If you’re going for something spicy, like the chipotle beef, and you want to amp up the heat, grab an IPA like the ones from Down the Road Beer Co. (Everett, MA), Flying Dreams, Cold Harbor Brewing Co. (Westborough, MA), and Baxter Brewing (Lewiston, ME). To cut the heat, go for a sweet Stout or Porter like the ones from Hitchcock Brewing (Whately, MA) or Funky Bow (Lyman, ME), or an Amber, which you might find from Cambridge Brewing Co. (Cambridge, MA). For a complementary spice, try the Ginger Session from Willie’s Superbrew (Boston, MA), or grab a refreshing Watermelon Mint Spritzer from Mighty Swell (Austin, TX) for a truly cooling sensation. If you’re drinking a dry Cider from Bantam (Somerville, MA) or Champlain Orchards (Shoreham, VT), grab the roasted vegetable or fresh lobster tacos. The subtle sweetness and crisp bubbles of hard Cider provide perfect contrast to charred veggies, but won’t overpower subtle lobster sweetness.

When you can’t decide what to pair with what you’re eating, just go for what you like. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Brewery Ommegang will bring their recent special edition Saison Rosé. We expect this summer brew to complement everything from gooey grilled cheese to jalapeno cheddar pierogi, or an adobo chicken burrito. We’re also hoping to find the Macchiato Imperial Stout, a collaboration between Mystic Brewery and George Howell Coffee, which is described as having notes of malty milk chocolate and creamy caramel – sounds like dessert to us!

If you just can’t wait until July 14th for your craft beer experience, check out this map of local craft breweries and create your own beer-tasting tour (complete with designated driver, of course). You’ll surely find a Roxy’s Grilled Cheese or Jaju Pierogi along your route.