Elevate Your Picnic Game By Pairing Your Favorite Food Truck Fare with Beer

In partnership with Tröegs Brewing Company, we guided ourselves using their excellent “food notes” to find the perfect pairings for our food truck grub.

All winter we dreamed of this: Summer’s long, hot days full of picnics populated mainly by ice-cold beers. And now, after an entire week of 90-degree stickiness, it’s safe to say the summery days we dreamed of are officially here. Now, about those beers…

To celebrate summer’s arrival—and really savor it, in case it turns out to be one of those New York seasons when you blink and it’s gone—we recently gathered friends for a food truck feast with a beer pairing challenge. Our plan was simple: We were going to hit up our favorite food trucks, reconvene at our picnic blanket (a tortilla-print picnic blanket, natch), and then pop open our cooler to find the perfect beer to pair with everything we picked up. In partnership with Tröegs Brewing Company, we guided ourselves using their excellent “food notes” to find the perfect pairings for our food truck grub.

First up was a Maine-style lobster roll, served on a warm and buttery brioche bun. We paired this with Tröegs’s Crimson Pistil IPA. With notes of passion fruit, berries and grapefruit, this IPA really cut through the mayonnaise of the lobster salad—and amplified the naturally sweet flavor of the lobster itself. A delicious departure from summer’s ubiquitous rosé.

Beer required. Tortilla-print picnic blanket optional.

Next, we returned from our favorite taco truck with three different varieties in tow: fish, chicken and carnitas tacos. With the fish tacos, again, we loved the Crimson Pistil IPA; its citrus notes really complemented the tender fluke inside the tacos. With the chicken and carnitas tacos, however, we much preferred the Troegenator. Its caramel finish paired beautifully with both meats, and highlighted the chewy, complex flavor of the corn tortillas. Remember when we were supposed to think a taco truck on every corner would be a bad thing? Excuse us while we pause this feast to build a time machine.

When you say pizza, we say pilsner.

Finally, we wrapped things up with a few slices of wood fired pizza. With this—served margherita-style with only fresh arugula on top, to “green” things up—we enjoyed Tröegs’s Sunshine Pils. Now, we always love to pair our pizza with a pilsner, but this one was really special for the summer. With notes of grass, lemon and flowering herbs, Sunshine Pils was the perfect, earthy partner for our sauce-and-arugula-heavy slices. In fact, we loved this pairing so much that we went back to both the pizza truck and our cooler for more.

Want to try these pairings yourself? Join us at our 7th annual Food Truck Derby this August. Tröegs will be there, serving beer, alongside 19 of our favorite food trucks. The event will take place on August 10, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., in Bridgehampton. Tickets are available online now. You can get yours here.

Meghan Harlow

Meghan is the editor of Edible East End and Edible Long Island.