Here they are: the five cheese-and-beer pairings to try before you die. No rush, right? You have time. But please don’t wait to try these duos. They are fall-weather friendly, and each is practically a religious experience. Let’s just say these are no-fail, road-tested, unimpeachable pairings, and I want to share them with you in time for the party season. So you have homework to do, but here’s the study guide. You’re welcome.
American Pale Ale with Cheddar
My pick: Oskar Blues Brewery Dale’s Pale Ale with Fiscalini Farms Bandaged Cheddar
Why it works: Pale ales tend to have a malty middle that balances the hops. That malt complements Cheddar’s nutty notes, whiles hops speak to the Cheddar tang.
Saison with Camembert
My pick: Boulevard Brewing’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale with Jasper Hill Farm Moses Sleeper
Why it works: Fruity, yeasty saison is the dry apple cider of beer. We know the mushroomy cheeses in the Camembert family love cider, so a saison is no big leap.
Doppelbock with Aged Goat Cheese
My pick: Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock with Garrotxa or Andante Dairy Tomme Dolce
Why it works: Strong, deeply malty and spicy, often with a gingerbread aroma, doppelbock echoes the caramel scent in many aged goat cheeses.
Belgian-style Strong Golden Ale with Alpine-style Cheese
My pick: North Coast Brewing Pranqster with Spring Brook Farm Tarentaise or Beaufort
Why it works: These potent brews need cheeses with similar intensity, and their spicy, fruity aromas love the cheese's nutty, brown-butter notes.
Belgian-style Quadrupel with Aged Gouda
My pick: Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers with Beemster XO
Why it works: Lush and malty, with aromas of dried fig, toffee and clove, a quad wants to be paired with a big cheese with profound nuttiness or sweetness. Alpine cheeses, mellow blue cheeses and butterscotchy Goudas all work. Is there a better dessert?
The new paperback edition of Cheese & Beer has arrived just in time for holiday giving. Affordably priced at $19.99, the paperback is also light enough to slip into your suitcase if you’re traveling this holiday season and need a gift for your host. I am happy to personalize it per your instructions on the order form. Third-class shipping is on me.