Impress your friends with these delicious beer and cheese pairing ideas
There’s no denying that cheese and wine are a match made in heaven. After all, nothing quite beats sitting down with that special someone to a lavish cheese board with a bottle of red. What fewer people realise is that beer and cheese is just as delicious, if not more versatile. With the months getting warmer however, a common misconception is that beer isn’t #shreddingforsummer appropriate. Actually, what you may not know is that beer generally contains very little sugar – some less than 0.1% – and can similarly be low in carbohydrates. Don’t shy away from a cheeky beer and cheese pairing. Just like anything, it’s about maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
In the name of research, we have tasted a whole variety of different beers and cheeses. Yep, life in the office can be tough. From our findings we have a developed a simple guide linked with the ‘three C’s’: contrast, compliment and cleanse!
Contrasting flavours indicate that the beer and cheese combination isn’t a perfect match. What you’ll find however is that a bitter lager paired with a pungent cheese will draw out complex flavours that you didn’t know existed. Complimentary flavours are ones that you know are going to work well together. The fail proof matches. It’s not hard to imagine how well a dark beer and smokey cheese, or a crumby cheddar and pale ale go well together. A cleansing combination is designed to cut through the fatty layer that cheese can often leave on your tongue. We like to pair our richest cheeses with light, bright ales for this very reason to cleanse and refresh the palate.
With these three Cs in mind, we have complied a list of our favourite beer and cheese pairings. Whip out this nifty marriage at your next celebration and your guests won’t know what has hit them. You’re welcome.
Hahn Superdry with creamy camembert
This refreshing lager is brewed for an unusually long time, using the most modern brewing technology and finest ingredients. Add a soft Camembert or Fontina to the mix and you’ve got yourself a cleansing combination. The fats from these creamy, earthy cheeses coat the inside of your mouth. While Hahn’s unmistakable crisp and dry taste cuts through the richness – without preservatives. If you’re fretting about clocking up too many carbs in this beer and cheese sitting, we have good news. Hahn Superdry contains just 2.24gm of carbohydrates per 100gm, and . It is also 99.9% sugar free.
White Rabbit Dark Ale with a smoked cheddar
This dark ale is made with roasted malts and hops, producing sweet caramel and toffee notes. These flavours work exceptionally well when tied with the subtle smokiness of a smoked cheddar. If you’re looking for something along a similar vain, why not match a Little Creatures Hotchkiss Six stout to a buttery cheese such as a brie, gouda or havarti. The creaminess of a semi-soft cheese is balanced out by the bitterness of a dark ale. For the adventurous foodie, we recommend considering it for your next dessert alternative!
James Squire The Chancer Golden Ale with gorgonzola
Noted for its distinctive orange-golden colour and unique tropical fruit aroma, this golden ale has a restrained bitterness and dry finish. What you’ll find is this medium bodied brew works perfectly with the punchiness of a bitey blue cheese. We admit that really ripe blue cheese isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But this contrasting flavour combination is certainly worth a shot!
Kirin Megumi beer matched with a Monterey or pepper Jack
This Japanese beer has some seriously smooth flavours with a rich creamy head. The hops in this brew create an appetising aroma, complemented by a delicate fruity character. Combined with the creamy and relatively mild flavour of a semi-hard, American cheese like Monterey, it makes for a very easy eating/drinking sesh. The full-bodied palate has a subtle sweetness punctuated by mild bitter notes.
Little Creatures Bright Ale matched with feta
This bright ale makes for a refreshing, balanced blend, binding subtle malt characters with a fruity hop aroma and gentle bitterness. The herbal hoppy notes of this beer are echoed in the floral and tangy taste of a crumbly feta!
James Boag’s Premium matched with fresh goats cheese
Wheat beers like this lager tend to be higher in acidity and lighter in taste, which means they’re best served with young, mild cheeses. A soft, creamy cheese like chèvre will work nicely. The fact that wheat beers are typically highly carbonated means they’ll also cleanse the palate of wash out that just-eaten-goats-cheese feeling.
Tooheys Extra Dry matched with limburger
Known for its strong odour, this wash rind cheese may smell somewhat offensive, but works exceedingly well when cut through with a crisp dry lager. The pungency is juxtaposed against the clean, smooth fruity flavour of the beer. Trust us: you’ll never turn your nose up at a limburger again.
XXXX Summer Bright Lager with asiago, colby or parmesan
Easy drinking beers don’t get much better than XXXX Summer Bright Lager. Take your after work beer to the next level with something like an asiago or parmesan to bring out the nutty undertones. If you’re looking for cheese with a little less bite, consider pairing with Colby. Colby is softer, moister and milder than cheddar, with the same earthy notes coming through.
Little Creatures Rogers Beer matched with cheddar
Cheddar and ale go way back, or at least to the origin of the ‘ploughman’s lunch’. The sweet, nutty flavours of an aged cheddar play off the malt and dark fruits found in this Little Creatures amber ale.
Want to know the favourite beer and cheese pairing of a Cheese Expert?
We got the chance to chat with Lee-Ann Castles, a NSW cheese ambassador. She disclosed that her favourite match is a creamy white mould cheese (strong vintage 24 months in age) tied with a James Squire Hop Thief 8. She explains that “the hops in the beer perfectly compliments the buttery texture of the cheese.
With all this in mind, there is really no prescribed formula as to what beers go with what cheeses. This is your chance to get creative. At the end of the day, everyone’s taste is different. It’s about doing a little bit of experimentation and seeing what works for you!
For more information on the different beers, jump onto www.beerthebeautifultruth.com.
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