Beer and Cheese for Special Occasions and Holidays
You know cheese goes with wine better than with any other beverage. However, wine isn’t as accessible or enjoyable for some people compared to ice cold beer. Do you think pairing cheese with beer will work? Let’s find out by exploring the history of beer and cheese together and how you can put this unusual tandem to work for your New Year’s Eve party or any other special occasion.
Most food connoisseurs love blue cheese because of its texture and varying flavors. This kind of cheese is often paired with wine or champagne. However, beer lovers may also pair this classy cheese with a porter, which is dark-colored and marked by a smoky mix of malt, coffee, and caramel, or a stout that tastes bitter from roasted malt or barley. The pungent scent and taste of a Stilton or Roquefort are pleasurably balanced with the crisp bittersweet notes of strong Belgian ale like Duvel or Chimay Blue. You may also like a pint of Irish stout like Guinness or a Fullers London Porter.
If you like the velvety feel of cheddar as it melts in your mouth, then you’ll love the way it bursts with strong flavor when mixed with a robust brown ale. Place thin wedges of cheddar on a plate and serve with a glass of India Pale Ale. The beer’s flavors of malt and hop contrast sharply with the cheese. You may like a cold tall glass of Worthington’s White Shield, Manns Brown Ale, or McEwen’s India Pale Ale.
However, if you prefer Swiss cheese, like Emmental or Gruyere, then be sure to sit back and relax with a pint of dark lager or bock beer. If possible, be bold and bring your own wedges of Swiss cheese to an Oktoberfest event. From a mild milky taste to a sharp nutty flavor, Swiss cheese pairs up well with the heavy maltiness of German beer. You may like a pint of Harpoon Maibock, Sam Adams Double Bock, or any ‘dunkles bier’ (German for dark beer).
You’ll also like beer paired with a nice spread of brie or camembert on plain crackers, slice of ham, or wedge of French bread. The creamy taste and texture of milk rind cheeses blends well with the fruity and earthy flavors of wheat beer, such as Grozet Gooseberry and Wheat Ale. Add a side serving of fresh fruits and berries, and you have the perfect appetizer for any celebration.
It’s best to serve non-pasteurized cheese to preserve the flavors of raw milk, which makes pairing off cheese and beer a delightful experience. If you plan on placing cheese on crackers, then choose plain or saltine biscuits, or even, something like English wafers or flat bread. Yet, when you serve cheese wedges with fresh berries or fruits, it’s best to serve the hard or compressed cheeses at room temperature. Spreadable cheeses may be served in small cups as spreads or sliced fresh from the fridge.