A number of people wrote to say that they couldn't write fast enough to catch all of the beers I recommended yesterday on the Today Show—not surprising, since the segment went so fast I didn't even get a chance to talk about all of them myself! Here's a rundown of the choices, with the general pairing suggestions that went along with them.
1. For fried foods, try a hoppy beer (for instance an IPA, India Pale Ale). To my mind, the citrus/pine/floral notes of hops are just the thing to cut through the fat of fried foods, as is the prickly bitterness they impart. The beer I poured was Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA; the two that weren't opened (but are terrific, too) were the Lagunitas Brewing Co. IPA and the Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA.
2. For spicy foods, try a lager or pilsner. Lagers are one of the two main categories of beer (ales are the other), and pilsners are a subset of lagers—which unsurprisingly originated in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Both are crisp, light (not as in 'light beer,' hideous stuff, but as in 'light on their feet, graceful, invigorating, etc.') golden beers, pilsners typically a bit hoppier. I poured Pilsner Urquell, one of the great names in Pilsner; also shown was Victory's Prima Pils, from Pennsylvania.