Beer-cheese pairing

As you’ve probably noticed by now, when I describe a cheese I make sure to discuss the outward flavors, aromas and textures, as well as include a small blurb about the subtle notes in the cheese. The same thing goes for beer. When tasting a beer, one should observe the body, color, head, aroma, taste and the notes that are found within it. There isn’t exactly a science to pairing since your palate reigns supreme. A useful tool I found is to use those notes to create some music. There are two ways in which to do this: Sharing and Contrasting.


For example: Take the Bayley Hazen & Lion Stout combo. The cheese has notes of chocolate, hazelnut, and coffee. The beer shares the same notes, yet the two differ in texture and other flavors. Stout doesn’t exactly have the blue mold tang and blue cheese does not have the creamy full body of a stout. But, when you combine the notes in two items, you create a harmony that uses the textures and flavors that differ between the two foods as a supplement to your gastronomical experience. 


For example: Say you have an Amarelo De Beria Baxia, which is a thistle rennet, mixed milk washed rind cheese. It has some funk but a distinct milkiness with notes of vegetal, sour, and sweetness. What is it missing? Meat and salt! So take a slice of Chorizo or Jamon Serrano and BANG. You have a pairing where the notes of the salty, savory, and meaty cured pig parts will play off the sweet, sour and milky cheese. Therefore, you create a slightly more complex and cacophonous symphony, yet one that’s a guaranteed Ode to Joy on the palate.

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