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 A Hoppy Marriage: Gourmet Cheese & Beer Pairing Guide 
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Post A Hoppy Marriage: Gourmet Cheese & Beer Pairing Guide
A Hoppy Marriage: Gourmet Cheese & Beer Pairing Guide
by: Sara Kahn

Is there really a season for beer? I certainly enjoy beer year round but find myself opting for a cold brew more often during warmer weather. This time of year seems to call for lighter and more refreshing beverages but did you know beer just may be the better beverage choice to enjoy with gourmet cheese?

Beer, like wine, has something in common with cheese. All of these products are pastoral and crafted using traditional methods that date back centuries. Wine, beer and cheese speak of a particular culture, a place and a time. The connection between beer and cheese is particularly strong since the animals milked for cheese ate the grains used for brewing beer. It’s possible that your nose and palate may pick up similar flavor profiles. Putting aside their natural affinity, perhaps the most important reason to pair beer with cheese is that the carbonation and brisk qualities of beer refresh the mouth and wash away the tongue-coating richness of the cheese. Simply put, they taste good together.

With the wide variety of domestic, imported, and craft beers now available, selecting the right one can be just as overwhelming as choosing an appropriate wine. Fortunately, we have teamed up with Peter Estaniel, founder of Better Beer Blog ( to give us an assist. Take a look at our Gourmet Cheese and Beer Pairing Guide for Peter’s recommendations for your next gourmet cheese and BEER tasting.

Cheese Type: Fresh

Fresh cheeses are not aged and usually are white and light in flavor, smooth and sometimes tangy. Try chevre (goat cheese), buffalo mozzarella or feta.

Peter’s Picks: The light citrus character of White Beers (Unibroue Blanche de Chambly, Wittekerke) and Wheat Beers (Erdinger Weissbier, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier) marries well with the lactic tang of fresh cheeses.

Cheese Type: Bloomy

Encased in a whitish, edible rind, bloomy cheeses are often velvety, gooey with a mild flavor. Add Brie, Camembert or Pierre-Robert to the cheese board for a decadent treat.

Peter’s Picks: Pilsner, with its balanced flavor and mildly bitter finish, washes the palate of creamy, bloomy cheeses. Try Trumer Pils, Spaten Pils.

Cheese Type: Washed Rind

AKA “Stinky Cheeses”. During the aging process, washed-rind cheeses are usually bathed in a brine or washed with liquor such as wine, beer or a spirits. It’s this brining process that gives the cheese an aromatic quality. Almost all have orange or reddish hued rinds. Not mild and not sharp, washed rind cheeses are full-flavored. Give Taleggio or Epoisses a taste.

Peter’s Picks: India Pale Ale (Blind Pig IPA, Stone IPA) and Belgian-style Dark Strong ales (Chimay Grande Reserve, Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor) have enough gusto to stand up to the power of these cheeses.

Cheese Type: Aged, Hard Cheeses

As cheeses matures, it hardens and concentrates in flavor. Try our 3 Year Old Cheddar, Aged Gouda and Piave.

Peter’s Picks: A pint of English ale (Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, Newcastle Brown Ale) is the traditional beverage of choice for Cheddar. The nutty and caramelized flavors of aged Gouda and Piave match well with brown ales, as well.

Cheese Type: Blue

The bluish-green veins give blue cheese its punch. Listed from strong to strongest in pungency are creamy Gorgonzola, nutty Stilton and salty Roquefort.

Peter’s Picks: Intense cheeses like blues can be tamed with sweet, fruity beers. For a unique treat, try a raspberry flavored beer like Belgian Lambic (Lindemans Framboise) with blue cheese for dessert.

About The Author
Even though her passion for gourmet cheese was undying, Sara Kahn found shopping for it to be overwhelming, time consuming and confusing. She established to offer a simple way to select and serve the world’s finest cheeses either for home entertaining or as a unique cheese gift. By providing the perfect combination of fine cheese along with a comprehensive cheese course guide, enjoying gourmet cheese is now a deliciously enriching experience.
The author invites you to visit:

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Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:59 am
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