When someone prattles on about food and beverage pairings, you probably assume that the beverage in question is wine. Wine has already been paired with pretty much everything on this planet that's edible—cheeses, crackers, meats, and even full-course meals. There's a wine for everything; however, as people have come to realize within the last few decades, there's a beer for everything, too! After all, what’s more indulgent than sipping on a cold, carbonated drink while simultaneously savoring down some rich and fatty dairy? If you're wondering how to create the perfect combo, here's our ultimate guide to craft beer and cheese pairing.
Light Goes With Light, Heavy Goes With Heavy
When pairing beer and cheese, you must match the intensity. A refreshing pale ale will taste the best when paired with a lighter cheese (think cheeses such as ricotta, brie, and camembert), while heavier beers and older, more pungent cheeses are a match made in heaven.
Trust Your Taste Buds
This is a pretty straightforward rule. When experimenting with different pairings, pay close attention to how the beer and cheese go together. Does the combination taste like the worst thing you've ever put in your mouth? Other people might rave about how well the pairing works, but if you're not a fan, you don't have to force yourself to stomach it. Does an experimental pairing you decided to try out of sheer curiosity taste incredible? Even if you create an unconventional pairing, don't let other people's opinions prevent you from enjoying your creation. If it works, it works.
Familiarize Yourself With Common Pairings
If you're not exactly the risk-taking type, you'd probably prefer to stick to pairings that you know will taste good. Luckily, hundreds of pairings have already been pre-approved by beer- and cheese-lovers across the world. It wouldn’t be the ultimate guide to craft beer and cheese pairing if it didn’t name some of the most delicious combinations; check out just a few for starters:
- IPA and Cheddar
- Farmhouse Ale and Brie/Camembert
- Imperial Stout and Blue Cheese
- Pilsner and Mozzarella
- Saison and Gruyère
- Hefeweizen and Goat Cheese
- Belgian Ale and Èpoisse
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