Note: This is the 4th post in a 5-part series called Beer Newbie Missions, a guide on how to like beer.
You always hear about wine and cheese being the classic pairing, but even the wine buffs will agree that beer and cheese is where it's at.
Brewers have known it for a while
Beer and cheese pairings go back a long time. The Monks knew about their deliciousness, so they produced their own cheese as well as beer. And you've seen their skill with beer…
Yes, brewers are well aware of beer and cheese companionship.
A Perfect Partnership
So why do beer and cheese pair so well together?
First you have to understand that they are similar industries. At one end you have mass producers making a bland product, and at the other end, you have the craftsman making high-quality, artisanal products.
The quality and diversity of the artisanal beers and cheese make a killer combination.
Here's another zinger you can throw at your vino-sipping friends: beer is carbonated and wine isn't. Why does this matter? Well cheese is fatty and leaves fat deposits in your mouth. The bubbles from beer act like little scrub brushes and clean your palate, leaving you fresh and ready for the next bite. Wine? No little scrub brushes (except in champagne).
Time to get down to business. I'll give you 5 different beer and cheese combinations and you pick at least one of them to try.
If you feel like creating your own combination, by all means do so. There are no rock-solid rules with beer and food pairings. Just keep in mind that you'll enjoy it more if you match intensities. That is, you want to pair a strong cheese with a strong flavored beer. Otherwise, one's flavor will mask the other.
- Mozzarella with a Belgian Witbier – Mozzarella is one of my favorite cheeses, so I wouldn't want to overpower its light flavor. Go with a Belgian Witbier like Allagash White which will compliment the cheese rather than mask it.
- Goat Cheese with a German Hefeweizen – Both have delicate flavors that match up well. Try a Weinhenstephaner Hefeweizen with a mild goat cheese.
- Brie with a Fruit Beer – You've probably seen brie served with fruit (usually raspberries) before. It goes equally well with a fruity beer. Eat it with Lindmans Framboise lambic beer, one of the beers to buy in this mission.
- Sharp Cheddar with an IPA – The strong flavors of the cheddar require a beer that can cut right through it. IPAs are up to the challenge. Grab a Green Flash West Coast IPA and enjoy.
- Roquefort or Stilton with a Belgian Dubbel – These stinky cheeses need a beer that can handle their strength. Try a Chimay Premiere Red, which again just so happens to be one of this mission's beers to buy.
Remember to use high-quality cheeses. The grocery store may not have them, so you might have to go to a wine (beer) store or specialty shop. Like craft beer, it is worth it.
Beers to Buy
How's your palate doing? Beaten down or ready for more? We're on the second to last mission now so the beers are going to be bold and intense.
The lambic in particular won't taste like any beer you've ever had. Hell, it doesn't even taste like beer. Give them a fair shot, try a couple different brands, and keep an open mind. I think you are going to find at least one in this bunch that you'll fall in love with.
- Imperial India Pale Ale (Double IPA)
- Lambic or Gueze
- Belgian Dubbel
Check in down below when you are done with the mission. Let us know how your beer and cheese pairing went, or feel free to ask any questions before you embark.