This summer, it’s time to train your taste buds, and start approaching your bottle of beer, as you would a good bottle of wine.

While we are accustomed to paring wine with our food, it’s equally valuable to drink specific beers with certain meals, advises Brad Armitage, owner of craft beer specialists &Union. That means breaking away from your “usual” and trying some of South Africa’s tasty craft beers.

And in case you’re worried about developing a beer belly, don’t, it’s a myth. Check out our flat belly bartender guide.

Drink natural

Craft beer is naturally fermented so you shouldn’t bloat, or suffer the post-drinking hangover blues.

Make light work

Light coloured beers, like Weissbier beers, are better for summer meals. They are great with breakfast, or with summer dishes like sushi. “Think about them as the perfect beer to drink around a pool on a summers day,” says Armitage.

Winter warmers

Because winter meals are creamier and meatier, it is the perfect time to indulge in darker, richer brews – like Dark Lagers and Ales. Ales are generally warmer beers, and are very popular in colder climates.

Join the dark side

For great accompaniments to winter meals, we suggest Darling Breweries “Black Mist” and Mitchells “Ninety Shilling Ale”. “Beast of the Deep” a new &Union Dark Lager, is rich in caramel tones, and goes well with roasted veggies, spicy lamb potjie or tomato-based pasta dishes.