Hoppy International Beer Day!
Raise the bar with these spectacular beer and cheese pairings.
Beer is honored internationally on the first Friday in August. According to internationalbeerday.com, "International Beer Day is a global celebration of beer, taking place in pubs, breweries, and backyards all over the world. It’s a day for beer lovers everywhere to raise a toast to our brewers and bartenders and rejoice in the greatness of beer!" The first International Beer Day was celebrated in 2008 and is now celebrated in over 200 cities worldwide.
Most people instinctively choose wine to pair with cheese, but beer is also a great bet! Like wine, frothy, cold beer helps you to taste the complexities of the accompanying cheese. The frothy feel of beer cuts through the richness and fat of the cheese and helps cleanse your palate before your next bite.
There are many ways to pair beer and cheese. You may choose to have complimenting flavor and intensity, such as a pungent blue cheese with a complex stout, or contrasting flavors, like a crumbly aged gouda and a light and refreshing wheat beer. It is important to pick beers and cheese that will not overwhelm and mask the flavor of the other, which is why complimentary pairings are often easier to select.
The possibilities for cheese and beer pairings are endless, but we have a few ideas to help you get started. Beer in mind these cheese and brew pairings when creating your International Beer Day spread!
1. BLUE CHEESE & PORTER
Malty stouts and porters complement the creaminess of blue cheeses and can help mellow the acidic, pungent flavor typical of the cheese. Try less intense blues with IPAs; the hops bring out the cheese's acidity and floral notes and compliment the creamy texture.
2. AGED CHEDDAR & CIDER
Aged cheddars are crumbly, slightly-crunchy, nutty and require a beer that wont overwhelm all of their flavor. Cheddar and apples are a classic pairing, so try pairing it with a cider! Cider’s hoppy sweetness balances the nutty, sharp flavor and rich texture of the cheese.
3. FRESH GOAT CHEESE & SAISON
Fresh goat cheese has tangy, earthy, and sometimes even slightly citrussy flavors that are a perfect match for the similar flavors of a Saison. A carbonated beverage will cut through the rich creaminess of fresh, soft cheeses, and Saison fits the bill! Try Saison with Brie and other soft-ripened cheeses, too!
4. WASHED-RIND CHEESES AND IMPERIAL IPA
Imperial IPAs are stronger versions of traditional IPAs, featuring a ton of hoppy flavor and aroma. They're dark in color and more bitter than traditional IPAs. The bold flavors of Imperial IPAs stand up to funk of washed-rind cheeses. Imperial IPAs typically have a little carbonation, which cuts through the creamy, mouth-coating texture of many washed rind cheeses.
5. GRUYÈRE AND AMBER ALE
Gruyère is salty and slightly-sweet. It is creamy and nutty when young and becomes more complex with a slightly grainy texture as it ages. Amber Ale has a high malt character with nutty, caramel notes that compliment the nuttiness of younger Gruyères.