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Delicious beer and cheese pairings to try

Tasty combos you and your guests will love

From SheKnows Canada
You've likely heard of wine and cheese pairings, but did you know beer and cheese can be paired just as effectively? It's true! And with this helpful guide, you'll be creating all kinds of delicious combinations in no time.
beer and cheese
Entertaining guests?

Tasty combos they'll love!

You've likely heard of wine and cheese pairings, but did you know beer and cheese can be paired just as effectively? It's true! With this helpful guide, you'll be creating all kinds of delicious combinations in no time.

If you're looking for tips on how to pair beer with different foods and flavours, it's hard to beat the advice of Jackie Dodd, a.k.a. The Beeroness. She's a culinary wizard who has come up with dozens of delicious recipes that incorporate beer. And fortunately for us, she's sharing her secrets on how to merge the exciting and flavourful worlds of beer and cheese.


1

Note the intensity

Jackie's biggest piece of advice when it comes to marrying these two complex flavour worlds is to "keep mild beer with mild cheese and intense with intense so that no flavours are overwhelmed." So a mild pale ale will pair up nicely with an equally mild mozzarella or cream cheese, while a strong stout is more suited to an aged Gouda.

2

Think of the flavours

Jackie recommends identifying the dominant flavours of different beers and cheeses and trying to match — or at least complement — these flavours. So if, for example, you're working with an herbal cheese, a beer with herbal notes or a beer with a flavour that goes well with herbs, such as citrus, is ideal. A beer with a dominant flavour such as coffee would not do as well in this case. When you follow this method, the flavours will build on each other and complement rather than conflict with each other in a way that is confusing to the palate.

3

Consider spice

An important fact to keep in mind is that alcohol intensifies heat, explains Jackie. So if you're working with a spicy cheese, such as a jalapeno cheddar or a habanero Muenster, the spicy flavours will be more pronounced with a beer that has a higher ABV (alcohol by volume). If you can handle the heat, feel free to go with a beer that has a higher percentage of alcohol, but if spice isn't your thing, watch out.

Try a bunch of varieties at once by holding a beer tasting party >>

A few examples

You now have the facts on how to get your pairings going, but diving in can be a little intimidating. So Jackie has offered a few examples to get you started:

  • A brown ale with notes of fruits and nuts and a low hop profile (meaning less bitter) pairs well with a nutty raclette.
  • An India Pale Ale (IPA) that has floral and fruity notes will go brilliantly with a roquefort.
  • An amber ale with caramel notes and an average hop profile (medium bitterness) can be paired with Gruyère.
  • A mild and slightly fruity Belgian white ale will be great with a disc of brie. For an extra-special twist, bake the brie, and top it with apricots.
  • A malty and smooth stout that is free of espresso and chocolate flavours will be great with a strong, aged Gouda.

Check out more food pairings for light beers >>

And of course, if you're having trouble picking out the right brand of beer at the store, don't hesitate to ask a knowledgeable sales associate for assistance.

More on beer

Beer tasting: Winter beers you have to try
Spring/summer beers
Canada's best beers

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