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Paying homage to the fromage

LLife is peppered with wonderful pairings: Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Laurel and Hardy, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, cheese and pickle… The list goes on. But swap pickle for beer and you really have a partnership that was meant to be together.


There is no better way of paying homage to the fromage than with a beer. Both beer and cheese are fermented, aged and shaped by tiny little organisms: And both can be enjoyed when freshly made – with simple, clean flavours, or with some maturity – when an awesome array of complex characters come out to play.


When beer and cheese come together, the sumptuous sum is so much greater than the two parts. They really do bring out the best in each other. It was the subject of a recent Beer Club where you told us your favourite cheeses and we recommended the beer to match.


Beer has the bubbles and the bitterness to lift cheese’s rich, indulgent textures off the palate while cheese, in return, mellows out beer’s bitterness. But beyond the bubbles and the brine, there are so many textures and tastes to play with. Beer and cheese can both be creamy, dry, spicy, sweet, fruity and tangy.



Beer and cheese


Don’t just take our word for it, organise a beer and cheese night.  Five friends, five cheeses, five beers and you’ve got yourself an evening for under twenty five quid. Wine can’t compete with that value for money, let alone the flavours.


Here are some suggestions to get you started: start with soft, strong flavoured cheeses like Camembert and Brie with delicate pale ales and lagers such as Veltins, Deuchars IPA or Asahi. Go a bit leftfield and opt for goat’s cheese with a Meantime Raspberry Wheat Beer (the beer and cheese share a tartness), followed by a big and bold Gouda with its rich, sweet caramel flavours with a slightly salty edge. These dovetail delightfully with beers that demonstrate warm yet complex flavours – full bodied ales such as Fuller’s London Pride, Jenning’s Sneck Lifter or even Sam Adams Boston Lager fit the bill.


For mature cheddar look for beers with rich, fruity flavours that will spike the similar flavours in the cheese. Duvel, Thornbridge Jaipur, Worthington White Shield and St Austell Proper Job are all excellent options.



And what better way to end than with a ripe blue cheese such as Stilton or Roquefort. For these strong and strapping styles go for stouts, porters, brown ales and strong ales. Guinness, Robinson’s Old Tom, Hook Norton Double Stout and Five Points Railway Porter will all get on famously with these salty, creamy cheeses.



Give beer and cheese a go, they really are designed to be enjoyed together. Cheese is made from the milk of cows, sheep and goats that munch on grass. Barley, essentially another kind of grass, is what brewers use to make beer. So you see, meant to be together.


To discover your next favourite beer use Beer Explorer, our interactive guide to the best beers in Britain.


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