Black-eyed peas are wonderful legumes. Despite not being the most photogenic food, they are earthy, sweet, versatile, easy to cook–no wonder they have a solid place in American cuisine. You’re most likely to find them in southern or soul food recipes, but they go great with lots of accompaniments (or as an accompaniment). P.S. They go great with cornbread! Because they are so sweet, I usually like to make them with a decent amount of vegetables in the pot, and especially with peppers. The grassy flavor really works for them. So what to drink with black-eyed peas? Well, your first thought is probably some sort of lager, which wouldn’t be wrong, especially alongside a richer barbecue plate. But I like matching like with like sometimes (which can be tricky) so I am recommending you try a bière de garde as complement. A bière de garde is an old-school French style of ale that is meant for “keeping” as the language indicates. It’s usually somewhat malty (this one I chose, a homebrewed version, is a bit darker in color and flavor) and most examples have a nice level of yeast flavor and esters included. Versions really vary, but this is the basic profile.
Three Reasons Why This Pairing Works
1. As I said above, like with like actually works here. The sweetness of the beans matches the beer’s malt level and both stand side by side as equals.
2. The beans’ earthy notes highlight the grainy flavors, showcasing the prominent barley sweetness and mild nutty flavors.
3. Any vegetable flavors (ones that were cooked with the beans) such as pepper, celery, etc. and any herbs (bay leaf, parsley, etc.) can help bring out both yeast notes and hop notes!
Cheers and bon appetit!