By Janet Fletcher with the San Fransico Chronicle
|The following pairings are based on suggestions from beer experts Tom Dalldorf, Garrett Oliver, Lucy Saunders and Mark Todd and have been tested at the table...
With: Young, fresh, tart cheeses such as fresh chevre, mozzarella and crescenza
Try: Wheat beers such as hefeweizen, Bavarian-syle weissbier and Belgian-style witbier; pilsners.
With: Humboldt Fog and other goat cheeses with a little age
Try: A Belgian-style saison such as Ommegang Hennepin or Saison Dupont.
With: Garrotxa and other aged goat cheeses with some caramel notes
Try: Sierra Nevada Stout or similar dry, creamy stouts with coffee and chocolate aromas.
With: Lamb Chopper and other mild, medium-aged sheep's milk cheeses with sweet, cooked-milk notes
Try: Fat Tire, Red Tail Ale or similar amber ales well balanced between malt and hops.
With: Ossau-Iraty, mature Pecorino Toscano and other aged sheep's milk cheeses with pronounced salty, nutty flavors
Try: Lost Coast Brewery Downtown Brown or other brown ales.
With: Soft-ripened triple creme such as Seal Bay, Pierre Robert or Mt. Tam
Try: A Belgian-style saison such as Ommegang Hennepin or Saison Dupont; a dry kriek or other fruit beer.
With: Aged Gruyere, Comte or other aged Swiss-style mountain cheeses
Try: Anchor Porter, Rogue Shakespeare Stout or other sweet, mellow porters or stouts with chocolate, caramel and roasted coffee notes; brown ales.
With: Montgomery cheddar or other classic English-style cheddar
Try: McEwen's IPA or other pale ales with abundant hopping; Anchor Steam.
With: Munster Gerome or other washed-rind cheeses with strong earthy aromas
Try: Chimay Grande Reserve (blue label), Red Tail Ale or French biere de garde, such as Jeanlain or La Choulette Ambree.
With: Saenkanter or other aged Gouda with pronounced caramel notes
Try: Anchor Porter or other gently sweet, mellow, rounded porters; or nut-brown ales or amber ales.
With: Stilton or other mild to moderately piquant blue cheeses
Try: Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale or Moylan's Barleywine Style Ale. Serve barley wine at cellar temperature.
|Although you'll find many happy matches that break the following rules, these guidelines are a good starting point for thinking about beer with cheese.
-- Pair delicate beers with young, fresh cheeses.
-- Pair malty beers with nutty, aged cheeses.
-- Pair highly hopped, bitter beers with tart, sharp cheeses, especially cheddars.
-- Pair strong, sweet beers with blue cheeses.
Lucy Saunders on washed-rind cheeses: "I really like some of the darker ales, porters and stouts with those. I like that bready character that you get with a darker ale with a lot of chocolate malts in it, where the hops' bitterness isn't overwhelming. You want the aromas of the cheese to come through."
Mark Todd on triple cremes: "My personal favorite is cherry kriek, Belgian cherry-flavored beer with sour cherries. Or any of the decent Belgian tripels that are high in alcohol content but have bright crispness. Chimay Tripel does well with high-fat, mild-flavored cheeses."
Garrett Oliver on aged Goudas: "They tend to have a big caramel kind of flavor underpinning. They match up with brown ale or amber ale that has a lot of caramel flavor."
Garrett Oliver on brie de Meaux: "It can be tough. You've got to be careful not to use something with a lot of hops. I had a competition in Denmark with a sommelier, and I won the round with a stout that had some chocolate in it. It wrapped itself around the cheese very nicely and worked its way into the mushroom flavors."
Garrett Oliver on blue cheese: "I tend to go for stronger beers, beer with some residual sugar, like strong stouts and barley wines. I'm a big fan of port, but a nice aged barley wine and Stilton disappear into each other. It's a really beautiful match."
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