In an article for CraftBeer.com from 2011 Stone Brewing’s bearded sage Greg Koch rants about the idea that wine is the beverage of choice for pairing with cheese. The piece is vintage Koch: vitriolic and provocative, chock-full of great pull-quotes, but informative and grounded in his extensive craft beer expertise.
Sorry pseudo-wine experts; the jig is up. Beer is, and always will be, the supreme cheese pairing beverage.
The full post is certainly worth your time as Greg lays down simple guidelines for pairing beer and cheese while getting his share of shots in at the wine-snobs who’ve claimed the booze+dairy territory for so long.
Our favorite of the many great quotes from the piece is probably:
it’s not that it’s impossible to have a great cheese and wine pairing. But, I’d venture an educated guess that 99.9 percent of the time, you can find a far superior craft beer pairing that will have you swearing off Chardonnay in no time. And yet, the myth persists… mostly driven by the oh-so-desperate-to-be-sophisticated housewives of Orange County I’m guessing.
Oh yes he did.
But besides the snap-worth shots at wine Greg drops some useful tips on how to make the beer + cheese equation balance out:
When pairing beer with cheese, there are a few simple guidelines you can follow. Most importantly, don’t be afraid! This isn’t the snobby, stuffy world of wine here. There are no real rules or conventions you have to follow. Experiment until you find what works for you.
- Check your temperature. You know better than to drink your craft beer straight outta the fridge, don’t you? Well, the same rule applies for cheese. Take it out of the icebox at least 30 minutes before enjoying.
- Beer balances the contrast of malty sweetness with hoppy bitterness. Implementing the same thought process of complementary contrasts in your beers and cheese can often produce the best pairings.
- Think strength and match intensities. Big cheeses need big beers. Lighter cheeses call for lighter beers. But, never resort to the travesty of a so-called “light” beer!
Check out the rest of his tips, as well as some suggested further reading on the beer and cheese pairing concept on CraftBeer.com, and be sure to download the Food and Beer Pairing Cheat-Sheet for an excellent quick-reference on the principles of pairing.
- Source: CraftBeer.com – Greg Koch Uncensored—The Great Myth of Wine & Cheese
- Image: Remixed from Wikimedia Commons