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Cheese and Beer Pairings

When most people think of pairing cheese and beverages they think of cheese and wine. Cheese and wine have a long relationship and history together but over recent years, cheese and beer pairings have become increasingly popular.

As cheese connoisseurs, we thought we would help you explore this delectable new fashion. It will be excellent news to all who love cheese but could take or leave wine.

If this is your first-time pairing cheese and beer how do you know where to start?

How to pair cheese and beer

Just as when pairing wine with cheese, the flavours need to complement each other and this is a very good guide for getting it right with cheese and beer pairings.

You don’t want to overpower either the cheese or the beer and you want to be able to detect the subtle flavour in each without unpleasant clashes. A good example is that you would not want to pair a very mild, soft cheese with a high alcohol well aged beer as you won’t be able to appreciate the taste of the cheese.

While certain light beers can tone down highly pungent cheese, if you pair very light beer with blue cheese you won’t be able to detect all the flavours of the beer, so it is important to choose carefully for the ideal cheese and beer pairing.

The three important things to remember when choosing your cheese and beer pairing are:

• Try to marry weight and intensity
• If you are unsure where to start, try matching beers and cheeses from the same region until you develop a more discernible palate
• Follow your taste buds – cheese and beer pairing can be particularly tricky to the uninitiated since, while it is good to marry similar intensities, when it comes to flavours sometimes similar flavours match better and at times contrasting flavours will be more complimentary

If you are really confused about which cheese and beer to pair together, try at first to match light cheese with German wheat beers. Nutty cheeses go great with malty beers, such as amber ales, British cheddars often work well with bitters like British IPA and creamy but stronger cheeses are ideal with an Imperial IPA.

If you are having a cheese and beer party, we recommend having a wide spectrum of beers to match the various cheese flavours from light to strong, throw in a few extra malty numbers and let your taste buds guide you to what suits your palate.

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