The Foodie Guide To Pairing 40′s

When I was 16, there was a local grocer who would sell beer to anyone, any age, anytime. They were located in the “bad” part of town and I often would bring in a Cal Ripken baseball card to use as ID (in case I was ever asked). I eventually became to know the staff and would plan dates revolving around going to this place awhere the girls would sit in the car and watch me come strolling out with a 40’s and some heaters – at 16, this dramatically increased your chances of getting arse.

As a poor underage consumer, I was naturally drawn to the 40’s section as they were under $2 bucks and one would always reliably kickstart any night of drinking. Looking back, I think was also the beginning of my love affair with 40’s. Sure, the first sip was like lighter fluid but the last drop was always bittersweet.

As summer is a great time to enjoy a 40, I asked Eli Sussman(@FreshmanKitchen) a true “foodie” to guide you through the perfect pairing for 40’s. Enjoy!


Mickey’s also known as “The Green Hornet” is as light and airy as 40’z come. With its light hints of springtime, lavender and lemon zest, it goes great with a grilled salmon filet and roasted asparagus. But if you’ve already taped one to each hand to play Edward 40-hands; try the handless recipe of : 1 tortilla+2 slices of american cheese+30 seconds in the microwave+cover in salsa is our pairing of choice.

Colt 45

The Colt has it’s fair share of pop culture references but to find the perfect pairing for this malt beverage you need only need to look to the diet of the man who inspired the name of the drink. Samuel Colt ate only t-bone steaks grilled over mesquite wood chips from his 11th birthday till he passed away at the ripe old age of 56 (which was old as shit in olden times). So screw your nutritionist. Colt 45+ steak = really long life. Pairing locked and loaded.

Old English (also known as OE on the streets)

Old English inspires two varied responses.
Upon seeing it – one thinks it looks like something that would come out of you after drinking a ton of 40s.
Upon tasting it – this is one of the most fun 40z to drink bc with each sip you and can say “OOOO EEEE!!!!” and then wipe your mouth with satisfaction.

The British invented Old English after a barley shortage led a rouge brewmaster to create this delicious beverage. The king was super pissed until they hooked him up with a 40, some sheep sausage and some heavily salted mashed potatoes. He took one bite and uttered”OOOO EEEE that’s some tasty bangers and mash” (as expected) and then he looked at the brewmaster and said “off with his head” (which was less expected).

Big Bear

In Canada, big bear is 8% which is about as high as you get until you are in Mikes Hard/Smirnoff Ice territory. Due to the frosty nature of Canada and it’s national pastime, the pairing for Big Bear is freshly caught fish directly from the ice hole thrown onto an open flame. Seasoning is naturally a splash of big bear over the top.

St. Ides

The tagline of this is “The malt liquor with the imported taste.” And that imported taste comes directly from fancy-ville Ireland where St. Ides sits atop cliffs of Dover. Proper pairing based on that would be Haggis.

Private Stock

Biggy notes that he sips on Private stock and then goes on to note “lunches, brunches, interviews by the pool.” We can only assume that while lunching and brunching, Biggy consumed a Chopped Cobb Salad (no eggs) with light balsamic dressing. So there is our pairing courtesy of the health conscious Biggy Smalls.

Steel Reserve

SR has some legit punk/rock cred as Rev. Horton Heat and the Ramones were commissioned to write some jingles for the SR back in the 90’s (which is a sneaky way of selling out bc 40z are inherently still cool). Going along with that punk rock theme, the proper pairing for Steel Reserve is really just cigarettes and pent-up aggression against societal norms but if you absolutely have to eat something, just swing by the local taco shop for a carne asada burrito. And no Taco Bell you corporate hack because fuck the man and his 89 cent gordita.

Eli is one half of Freshman in the Kitchen who you can follow on twitter at : @FreshmanKitchen
Along with his brother Max they wrote a cookbook called “Freshman in the Kitchen: From Clueless Cook to Creative Chef” available here:


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