The Best Sushi and Beer Pairings at Matsuhisa

Sometimes, for all the refinement of a glass of wine with a meal, a customer may want a pint of beer instead and we know that beer with sushi isn’t something to turn one’s nose up at! With our beer selection at Matsuhisa, we’d like to talk a little about what goes well with our sushi in a general sense.

Japanese Lager

There are a number of Japanese lagers, and all of them have roughly similar characteristics when it comes to flavor and finish. Japanese lagers are generally very dry beers when it comes to flavor. This dryness, combined with a crisp finish, makes Japanese lagers ideal for sushi.

The light flavors of sushi and sashimi go well with the light flavor of Japanese lager. Moreover, the lager can also act similar to the pickled ginger that comes with sushi, helping to act as a palate cleanser.

Other Good Beers

If Japanese lager isn’t the first choice one has for beer, there are other options out there. The key point to remember is that lighter beers go better with sushi than heavier beers.

Pilsners, witbiers and hefeweizens are good bets. American lagers like Budweiser or Mexican lagers like Pacifico should be able to serve in a pinch, since they have similar flavor profiles to Japanese lagers.

Belgian tripel beers work well for dishes like fatty tuna, cutting some of the oily taste without overpowering the meat.

Poor Matches

When making any sort of pairing, knowing the wrong beers for the cuisine is just as important as knowing the right ones. Dark beers like stouts and porters have distinct flavor profiles that are considerably stronger than those of sushi dishes and would very easily overpower them.

Most “hoppy” beers, such as IPAs, will have a similar effect, as well as a secondary side effect of amplifying the heat from wasabi or spicy sushi rolls.


What to drink with sushi rolls is entirely a personal preference, and Matsuhisa wants to make sure that if a customer has sushi and beer in Denver, they’re perfectly combined for a great dining experience. Make a reservation today, and raise a glass with us.


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