FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Beer and cheese unite!

A super pairing for the big game
By JOSH SMITH  |  February 2, 2011

Beer_cheese_main
As disappointed Patriots fans, we're definitely going to need some quality beer and snacks to get through the Super Bowl this year. While chicken wings, pizza, or chips and dip will be served at most houses come kickoff, I'm opting for what I consider to be the ultimate Super Bowl snack: beer and cheese.

Of course, many of us have been taught that it's wine and cheese that go together best. Don't believe it. Truth be told, wine and cheese is a very unnatural marriage. The characteristics of each are such that rather than complement, you are reduced to creating pairings that contrast flavors. This is especially true for dry and red wines.

If you ask a cheese expert, they will grant that beer is a better match for several simple reasons. Historically, both beer and cheese were made on the farm, and even today the two craft industries bear a striking resemblance. Grain is the core ingredient in beer (malted barley) and cheese (via the cow's diet). And the two share many of the same characteristics. Think about some of the words used to describe both beer and cheese: earthy, nutty, grassy, toasty, musty, floral, and rich.

Thanks to this common ground, you have the ability to seek either contrasting or complementing pairings for beer and cheese. There are so many different pairings that can work, it seems at times as if you can't go wrong (though particularly intense beers and cheeses can clash). These are the general rules that I use:

• Fresh cheeses (like Mozzarella) should be paired with lighter beers (Pilsner, for example).

• Nutty and buttery cheeses (Gouda, Brie) should be paired with malty beers (Amber).

• Sharp cheeses (Cheddar) should be paired with bitter beers (IPA).

• Blue, pungent cheeses (Stilton, Gorgonzola) should be paired with strong, sweet beers (Barleywine).

Again, these are meant as suggestions rather than hard and fast rules. Given that this snack is going to be enjoyed alongside the Super Bowl, we'll pair our cheese with more sessionable beers. (Warning: while these beers aren't sessionable by the strict definition of containing no more than 5% Alcohol By Volume [ABV], they're all very easy drinking.) Here are some ideas:

FULL SAIL PALE ALE and Extra Sharp Cheddar: The sharpness of the Cheddar allows it to stand up well to the assertive, even brash bitterness of this hoppy Pale Ale. Full Sail fits especially well here as a flavorful, yet drinkable new arrival from the state of Oregon. As the one type of cheese I always have in the house, I've found that Sharp Cheddar tastes great with almost any kind of beer.

SOUTHAMPTON PUBLICK HOUSE DOUBLE WHITE and Dill Havarti: This is one of my favorite semi-soft cheeses for its rich, buttery flavor. The dill herbs have a tendency to upstage most beers, which is why I chose to pair it with this well-spiced, lemony Witbier. This is one of those beers that drink so smoothly you have to be careful or the 6.7% ABV can sneak up on you.

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: Why the NFL sucks, Three-point stance, Beer bottle football, More more >
  Topics: Liquid , Cheese, Beer, Sports,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY JOSH SMITH
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   A SIX-PACK TO GO  |  July 19, 2011
    A year and a half ago, I started writing this column by trying to assemble the ultimate mix-a-six pack.
  •   OFF THE BEATEN TAP  |  June 21, 2011
    Once upon a time beer was made with just four ingredients: malts, hops, yeast, and water.
  •   BEERS WORTH WAITING FOR  |  June 07, 2011
    Most people agree that fresh is better. The same is true in the world of craft beer. Except when it isn't.
  •   BEER GEEK NIRVANA  |  May 25, 2011
    While it's been said you can't teach an old dog new tricks, two pioneers of the craft beer movement have just released new and exciting mix packs.
  •   HEFEWEIZENS: THE ULTIMATE WARM-WEATHER BEER  |  May 12, 2011
    Too often, summertime beers mean watery, flavorless brews. But there is one style native to southern Germany, which guarantees you don't have to sacrifice flavor for drinkability — Hefeweizens, the ultimate summer beer.

 See all articles by: JOSH SMITH