As the title suggests, this is when you pick flavour notes in a beer that compliment flavour notes in a dish, when the two sit in harmony with each other. Lighter beers with citric flavours matched with white fish. Coffee stouts matched with chocolate desserts.
This is when you pick flavour notes in a beer that sit in contrast with the accompanying dish, when the flavour sit in opposite corners of the taste spectrum, yet for some reason they work together. A perfect example of this is Irish wheat beer with spicy Thai, Indian or Mexican dishes. While you would think salty, spicy dishes wouldn’t work with a beer that is known for its fruity and yeasty banana flavour notes, they really do.
Cleanse / Cut-through
This is a reference to one taste cutting through another, cancelling an opponent out and cleansing the palate. Usually with beer this means the dry bitterness of the hop character cancelling out an oily or creamy opposing taste. A popular Irish match that fits with this rule is a balanced but hoppy IPA accompanying creamy blue cheese. The hops in the IPA give a crisp dry taste that will cut through the creamy cheese.