Most often I open a bottle of wine and then reach for something to eat, but sometimes I'm already nibbling away once I decide I want a drink. In this case, wine is not necessarily a shoe-in. Sometimes that drink I'll open is not a bottle of wine but a bottle of beer. Beer can be heavy and filling which minimizes its role at the table of the gourmand. But I think that there are plenty of occasions to welcome the right brew.
Asian food is of course an obvious example and it was while we ate at Lao Beijing, which serves authentic mainland Chinese cuisine, that we ordered a round of Tsing Tao. It washed down the spicy pork and hoisin eggplant dish really well. Since it was a light and refreshing beer, it also went beautifully with the heaping plate of dumplings. We started with seaweed salad and by the time we were done there was still extra chicken and rice on the table. We had ordered too much. A bloating beer would've turned the dinner into a disaster. But Tsing Tao not only cut the fattiness of our fare it made room for more. We chose our drinks well and were able to walk away with only a few doggy bags.
Besides exotic cuisines that generate lots of their own heat, beer also lends itself well to mid-afternoon weekend snacking. I find that getting into wine at the point of the day can grind things to halt. Beer with its lower level of alcohol is a cinch in these situations. It also goes so well with those crunchy saline treats that sports on the telly somehow always manage to readily encourage.
I don't really know much more than that about the world of beer, but even Wine Blog Watch posts sites that update on the subject so the experts aren't far from here. One that is providing a great service at first glance is Knut Albert's Beer Blog.