Cooking on wood planks combines both the flavours of grilling and smoking. When preparing cedar plank salmon, the fish easily absorbs the aroma of cedar giving it an earthy taste.
An India pale ale is the best suited pairing for cedar plank salmon. The piney notes and intense hop characteristic of an IPA complement the cedar aroma of the salmon. The earthy tones of the beer are able to match the smoky flavours that result from cooking on planks.
When grilling salmon, a pale ale or brown ale would be the best pair. The malt of the pale ale cuts through the high fat content of salmon and can stand up to the texture. The sweetness of a brown ale contrasts the char of the grill.
Glazed salmon is usually coated in a sweet and savoury sauce like teriyaki. An India pale ale would be best suited because it can cut through the fatty oils of the salmon and rich flavour of the glaze while the hops enhance its spices.
Smoked salmon has a distinct flavour that would pair best with a porter. Normally it is not recommended to pair a heavy beer such as a porter with a lighter dish like seafood, but smoked salmon has an intense aroma that can match the dark beer. The roasted flavour of a porter compares with the smokiness of the salmon.
Salmon is a versatile dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways. The different preparation methods allow for a range of flavours which call for different types of beer.