A few tips in choosing which cheeses to pair with which beers:

The last half decade has seen the emergence of cheese and beer pairings as a popular way to enjoy both. The most important tip is to choose cheeses and beers that you like; usually your own taste buds will guide you.

That being said, here are a few easy guidelines to assist you:

  1. As with cheese and wine, your cheese and beer should complement each other. The secret is to avoid having either overpowered by the other. For example, if you pair a mild, semi-soft cheese with an IPA, the beer will overpower the subtleness of the cheese and your only memory will be the beer. Although sometimes a cheese can be so potent, like a washed rind Camembert, that a lighter beer can tone down the pungent taste of the cheese.
  2. Choosing cheeses and beers from the same region is also an excellent way to find sublime pairings. For example pairing an Oregon Blue Cheese with an Oregon micro-brewery Stout brings out the best in both.
  3. Texture is important with cheese and beer. Rich cheeses seem to explode, taste-wise, when paired with a more effervescent beer.


I have prepared this chart to assist you in successfully pairing cheeses and wines for your next event or quiet evening at home relaxing:


Asiago Biere de Garde, Brown Ale, Dunkle, IPA, Saison


Blue Brie IPA  
Blue Cheddar Barley Wine  
Blue Cheese Gueuze, IPA, Pale Ale, Pilsner, Rauchbier, Triple, Weissbier  
Blue Triple Cream IPA  
Brie Doppelbock, Dortmunder Export, Dubbel, ESB, Gueuze, Helles, Old Ale, Scotch Ale, Kölsch, Blonde Ale, Biere de Garde  
Camembert Altbier, Bock, Brown Ale, Doppelbock, Pale Ale, Saison, Kölsch  
Cheddar (Mild) Pilsner  
Cheddar (Medium) American Amber Lager,  
Cheddar (Sharp) Barley Wine, Weissbier, Gueuze, Imperial Stout, IPA, Lambic, Pale Ale, Pilsner, Rauchbier, Triple  
Chevre (Fresh Goat Cheese) Hefeweizen, Witbier, Lambic  
Chevre (Ripening Goat Cheese) Weissbock  
Colby Biere de Garde, Brown Ale, Dunkle, ESB, IPA, Saison  
Comte Bock, Oktoberfest, Porter, Dunkle  
Feta Biere de Garde, ESB, Hefeweizen, IPA, Pale Ale, Weissbier, Witbier  
Gorgonzola Barley Wine, Dubbel, IPA, Lambic, Saison, Triple  
Gouda (Aged) Brown Ale, Gueuze, Helles, Imperial Stout, Scotch Ale  
Gouda (Smoked) Doppelbock, Old Ale, Witbier  
Gouda (Young) Biere de Garde, Dortmunder Export, ESB, Hefeweizen  
Gruyere Bock, Oktoberfest, Porter, Dunkle  
Havarti Doppelbock, Dortmunder Export, Dubbel, ESB, Gueuze, Helles, Old Ale, Pilsner, Scotch Ale  
Limburger Barley Wine, Doppelbock, Dubbel, Gueuze, IPA, Lambic, Saison, Triple  
Monterey Jack Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Pilsner, American, IPA, Kölsch,  Amber Lager, Rauchbier, Witbier  
Muenster Pilsner, Schwarzbier, Red Ale  
Myzithra Scotch Ale  
Parmesan American Amber Lager, IPA, Biere de Garde, Brown Ale, Dunkle, ESB, Imperial Stout, Pale Ale, Saison  
Provolone Pale Ale  
Romano Pale Ale  
Roquefort Barley Wine, Dubbel, IPA, Lambic, Saison, Triple  
Swiss (Mild) Doppelbock, ESB, Dortmunder Export, Old Ale  
Swiss (Robust) Bock, Gueuze, Helles, Oktoberfest  
Triple Cream Abbey, Trappist  

For more pairings and other information regarding cheese, please visit my blog at cheesemonger .

©Copyright 2009 Marcella Wright and Echoes from the CheeseMines  – Used by Permission

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