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Cheese puff beef sliders infused with Guinness. You do love cheese, sliders and beer, right?

The only thing better than a great beer is eating the perfect food for that particular brew. Enter Beer Bites, a cookbook companion for your craft beer cravings by the dream team of cookbook author Andrea Slonecker and writer/brewer Christian DeBenedetti. Beyond your typical pub grub is enlightened fare for people who love good beer, and beef sliders on cheesy gougères definitely qualify.  

Sure, gougères, the airy, Burgundian cheese puffs typically washed down with wine, are a treat by themselves. And sliders may be the ultimate beer snack, whatever their bun. But for this elegant riff, we signed that pillowy puff to jam with a juicy, mini ground-beef patty. The resulting decadent duet is delicious and a perfect beer-tasting nosh. And for the brew to go with these special sliders, dry Irish stout — the style that Guinness made into a global powerhouse — is just the ticket.

Wait — a stout can be light, crisp, and clean? Yes. A light-bodied beer despite its reputation for caloric heft, every Guinness is a reminder that beer’s “heaviness” and its density of color don’t always correspond; a 12-ounce/360-milliliter bottle of Guinness draft has only 16 calories more than a can of Bud Light, and fewer than Coors, that old standby “Banquet” beer. Dry Irish stout is palate-cleansing, tasty, not too heavy, not too bitter, not too sweet — an easy match for seared ground beef, conjuring a bit of umami. One might step up to an India black ale (a.k.a. Cascadian dark ale) to emphasize bigger hoppy and roasted flavors, but to our way of thinking, a nice, light-bodied, not-too-filling stout does the trick.

Reprinted with permission from Beer Bites