Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Little Cheese with your... Beer?

Beer & food pairings have been all the rage this year, it seems, and the trend continues into the fall. Beer and cheese are old friends, but are gaining more attention lately. Boulevard released cheese sets this spring to go with its beers, and Chimay's been doing it for over a century. A large percentage of brewpubs or beer bars will list some sort of beer-and-cheese soup on their menus, and several often serve a "brewer's platter" that contains various cheeses and meats to accompany the customer's beer of choice.

But for as much as beer and cheese are highly complementary, wine and cheese have been the long-standing duo for decades. However, it appears that along with the rise of craft beer (especially fancier styles served in stemware), the wine-cheese relationship may be waning.

The Wall Street Journal released an article on Friday suggesting cheese may be better paired with beer than wine:
For brewers, teaming up with cheese is part of a campaign to show that beer is as sophisticated as Bordeaux, not just a tipple associated with student parties and sports bars. The idea is to "bring it up at the same level as wine," says Marc Stroobandt, a master beer sommelier and consultant at U.K.-based F&B Partnership, a company that trains restaurateurs on the best way to pair beer with food.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoy pairing beer, cured meats, and cheeses. I much prefer pairing spicy Belgian styles (saison, tripel, strong dark) and heftier American beers (barleywines & imperials) with flavorful cheeses such as a 2-year cave aged Gouda, a sharp vintage cheddar, or a fine smoked blue. These go well with spicy salami, sopressata, or capicola.

My waistline enjoys it as well. At around 100 calories per ounce of cheese and at least around 150 calories per 12 ounces of beer, this isn't really a diet-friendly treat. However, the good news is that since fat and protein are pretty flavorful and satiating, a little goes a long way.

You can try pairing beer with cheese this Monday at Flying Saucer. They're hosting a Founders tasting night, pairing six Founders beers (Red's Rye P.A., Centennial IPA, Cerise Cherry-Fermented Ale, Curmudgeon Old Ale, Dirty Bastard Scotch-Style Ale and Breakfast Stout.with both meat and cheese.

photo courtesy of Carlsberg Beer


  1. Does everyone have cheese on the brain (head-cheese?) this week

  2. It's got to be the time of year. Time to fatten up for the winter!!

  3. just more to love. that's been my excuse


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