Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

A fine cigar and a glass of…beer?

The modern cigar smoker is anything but stuffy and boring. So along with the clichés...
Il Sigaro della Sera
The modern cigar smoker is anything but stuffy and boring. So along with the clichés of dusty old men in tweed jackets, puffing away in darkened rooms full of red velvet and wooden furniture, we should also cast aside our expectations of how cigars are enjoyed. While there is much to be said for a fine glass of wine, port or cognac alongside a cigar, you may be surprised to learn there are also some excellent beers that can hold their own.

Craft beer has made a resurgence in recent times, with people becoming tired of identikit lagers and mass-produced beers. Real ale, full of flavor and often made in small batches by local breweries is popping up in the drinking repertoire of discerning individuals the world over. And they can make for some excellent cigar pairings.

The key thing to look for when pairing beer with cigars is the maltyness. Beer is made from just 4 ingredients (water, fermented barley sugar, hops and yeast). It’s the hops and yeast that create the key flavor, which together with the malted sugars, drive the overall taste.

So how do you pair with cigars? Well, as a general rule, the more delicate the flavor of the beer, the lighter and smaller the cigar you pair with it should be, so as not to dominate. Refreshing fruit beers, wheat beers and lighter lagers work well with slim cigars.

For the fullest taste experience, choose a wide, strong cigar, like Toscano and pair it with dark ales, porters and stouts, where the rich complex flavors of both are perfect companions.