Beer and cheese pairing from an expert’s point of view

Beer and cheese are natural complements to each other. The flavors of beer and cheese – earthy, musty, rich, toasty – go together in a way that, in many cases, other beverages and cheese just can’t match. As with any pairing, of course, it is very important to be sure that one flavor doesn’t overpower the other.

“Nothing tastes better with cheese than beer” proclaims Garrett Oliver, author of The Brewmaster’s Table, an influential book about how to make beer-food relationships work. According to National Public Radio: “Oliver’s beer and cheese pairings have been honed by numerous competitions, in which he faces off with wine experts to see who can pick the best beverage to go with a variety of cheeses.” Read more at NPR.

French cheese is usually paired with wine but there are many excellent beer and cheese pairings to explore! So where do you start if you want to serve up steins of beer with slivers of cheese? Start with some common sense. A beer that is lighter in body and flavor (such as pilsner or wheat beer) would go well with a mild, mellow cheese; and conversely, a dark, rich ale would hold its own alongside a heavier, more pungent cheese. But a strong beer paired with an intense cheese also can overwhelm the palate. So choose your cheese carefully. For even more Beer and Cheese Pairing advices check out:

Fall seasonal beers and cheese

Winter beer and cheese pairings

Summer beer and cheese pairings

Refreshing beer and cheese


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