What Beer Pairs Best with Sushi? (Style and Tasting Notes)

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Traditionally, sushi is not paired with sake as they are both rice dishes; instead, choose tea, wine, or beer.

Light beers with a hint of sweetness such as lagers, pilsners, and Kölsch tend to pair well with all varieties of sushi. Since there is such a wide range of types of sushi available, feel free to experiment with beer pairings. 

Does beer mix with sushi?

A drink is only paired if it allows you to enjoy the meal more meaning beer can be a good mix with sushi as long as you choose one that’s light, refreshing, and has complimentary flavor notes. 

Flavor profile of sushi

Sushi can cover a wide range of flavors depending on the seafood and ingredients added. 


Typically it is just a clump of rice with a slice of seafood on top. Usually, the seafood is raw. 


It is rice and fillings, such as fish and vegetables, wrapped in seaweed. This style can range from a seaweed focus to an ingredient focus. 


The filling is in the center wrapped up in seaweed while the rice is on the outside of them both. 


The cone is made out of seaweed with rice and fillings inside. It focuses on ingredients but can focus on seafood.


Sashimi is just seafood without any rice or other ingredients. Obviously, it is just the flavor profile of the seafood. 

The best beer styles to pair with sushi

Those flavors work with other aspects of beer such as its effervescence to provide a great drink to pair with sushi.  There are quite a few styles of beer that you can choose from depending on the style of sushi you’re having. 

Light Lager

Light lagers are an ideal choice for pairing with most foods, including sushi, as they are fairly mild, inoffensive beers. 


Kölsch beers pair well with sushi because they are light, slightly fruity beers that work well as palate cleansers. 


Pilsners tend to be a relatively light drink, but they are more hop-centric and can be more bitter. Because of the light body, pilsners are still fairly good palate cleansers. 


Hefeweizens are fruity, yeasty beers that are not good for palate cleansing, but the flavor does complement many styles of sushi. 


Witbier’s acidity pairs well with sushi rice and helps bring out the flavors of your meal. 

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