The Perfect Match:
Beer and Cheese
Just like wine, beer is an excellent companion with cheeses. With the emergence and growing popularity of microbreweries, beers from here are the ideal accompaniment for our cheeses.
Are you planning a party with your family or friends? All you need is a lovely plate of delicious cheeses, flavourful beers, a good crusty bread, crackers and fruit… and a few tips to help you organize a successful “beer and cheese” party!
Wheat-based, light taste with spicy and citrusy aromas; veiled appearance; fruity flavour, generally with no bitterness; nice foam that sticks to the glass.
The cheeses that blend well with white beer
Pronounced malt and cereal aromas; light and somewhat sweet, giving it a smooth taste; dense foam, but moderately bubbly.
The cheeses that blend well with pale ale
Amber or dark beer
Nuances of brown sugar; slightly or moderately bubbly with an ephemeral foam; light and sweet taste with distinct undertones of hops.
The cheeses that blend well with amber or dark beer
Dominant malt and caramel flavours; varying taste depending on the beer’s temperature: served chilled, its bitterness is more intense; served warm or slightly chilled, its bitterness is balanced with smoother flavours.
The cheeses that blend well with red beer
Roasted, "burnt-toast" bitterness with undertones of hops; creamy and compact foam with little bubbles; low to average acidity; considered a strong beer.
The cheeses that blend well with black beer
Arranging Your Plates
For a 3- to 4-service tasting, you will need a total of between 200 and 250 grams of cheese per person. When served as an entrée only, reduce the amounts of cheeses and the selection of beers.
In order to offer the widest range of flavours possible, choose a selection of soft, semi-soft, firm, hard and blue-veined cheeses.
Take the cheeses out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes before serving, for their best flavour.
Arrange the cheeses on the plate leaving them separated from one another, to avoid the different flavours from mixing together. Also, use a different knife for each cheese.
Identify each cheese so your guests can remember which ones they tasted.
Sharing new Discoveries
Everybody’s taste is different! There are no absolute rules to follow to organize a successful "beer and cheese" tasting. However, try to offer a nice progression to your guests.
First, we generally start off with light beers and mild cheeses, and then we serve cheeses with more pronounced flavours and more robust beers.
The idea is to find affinities with taste and character, or to the contrary, explore the contrasts between beers and cheeses. A cheese maker or a beer expert will be able to give you great suggestions.
A tasting party gives you the opportunity to share flavourful discoveries.
A cheese and beer combination will not always please everybody... Find your personal favourites by letting your curiosity guide you, and listen to your taste buds!
Serving a Diversity of Accompaniments
Fresh fruit (apples, figs, grapes, etc.) are always good with cheeses, as well as dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, etc.) and chutneys.
Terrines, cold cuts, nuts and raw vegetables are also very popular.
Crunchy baguette slices, sourdough bread and nut bread are sure winners, just like fine crackers.
Serving Temperatures for Beers
The ideal serving temperature for beer is different for each person. However, it doesn’t need to be ice cold. Beer best releases its aromas when served slightly chilled.
If possible, use glasses that are adapted to each type of beer (tall glasses, stemmed glasses, beer mugs, balloon-shaped glasses, etc.). Consult a beer expert on this matter.
Start by taking a bite of cheese, let it fill your palate, and after having chewed, take a sip of beer and swish it around in your mouth. Breathe in and out at the same time to fully appreciate all the flavours.