Beer Goes Better With Cheese

Wine & Cheese? No, Thanks! Beer Goes Better With Cheese | By Gary Alan

Whenever you see a wedge of cheese or a plateful of different gourmet cheeses, you are sure to find a bottle or two of wine. This is quite true of most photos found in food magazines and even as features or screen shots on food-related TV shows. Cheese goes with wine. Period. But have you ever wondered why you just love munching on your favorite pizza smothered with extra cheese while drinking beer? Or smacking all of your fingers after putting a mouthful of nachos drizzled with cheese and making it go down with beer? Got it? Oh, YES! It’s because cheese goes better with beer!


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Cheese and beer have contrasting and complementing tastes that create a new kind of combination for your taste buds. Since both cheese and beer are fermented, beer tends to echo the flavors found in cheese, and thus, it is easier to pair cheese with beer. Unlike with beer, pairing cheese with different wines can be tricky. Experts say that beer complements the taste of cheese and vice versa because both are produced in farms and have the earthy, musty and yeasty kind of characteristics that can blend well together. The cheese and beer combo can actually be traced back to the Middle Ages in Belgium when monks produced cheese and beer of excellent quality. This pair was part of their daily diet and source of income. Nowadays, when you order beer in a bar in Belgium it will surely be accompanied with a small bowl of cubed semi-soft cheese sprinkled with celery salt.

Cheese and beer have the most harmonious match and balance because beer is less acidic than wine thus giving your taste buds a better chance of appreciating the rich taste of cheese. However, similar to the rules in pairing wines with cheese, there are several guidelines you need to take note of when preparing beer with cheese.

  • Rich and fruity beer – must be paired with extra sharp cheddar or Mascarpone which is a formless cheese usually used for desserts and sauces.
  • Lighter beer or lager such as Harpoon Pilsner, Radeberger and Stella Artios – can be paired with mild cheddar, Monterey Jack, American Cheese, Muenster or Havarti.
  • Wheat beer – goes best with feta and goat cheese or any pungent cheese. Dark beer or lagers – are paired with Swiss cheese, gruyere or emmental cheese.
  • Hoppy pale ales – goes best with parmesan, romano or spicy cheddar cheese.
  • International beer – pair with cheese from the same region or country where it came from.

One very important tip to remember when pairing beer and cheese is to complement tastes. Mild beers go with mild cheese and robust beers go with robust cheese.

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