CEO, Stone Brewing Co.
Greg Koch provides insight into what he calls “The Great Myth of Wine & Cheese” and explains why craft beer is, and always will be, the supreme cheese pairing beverage. He even shares a few of his personal pairing tips, which will point you in the right direction and help make your next pairing a success.
Greg Koch’s Craft Beer and Cheese Pairing Tips
- 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.
- Craft beer balances the contrast of malty sweetness with hoppy bitterness. Implementing the same thought process of complement and contrast in your beers and cheese can often produce the best pairings.
- Don’t overdo it. A smoked Cheddar or smoked gouda paired with a smoked porter or Rauchbier might seem like a no-brainer, but they end up essentially canceling each other out, muddling many of the nuances and complexities of each.
- 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!
The Beer & Cheese Maven
Ruth Miller hosts pairing events featuring craft beers and artisanal cheeses throughout New England. In “Cheesemakers & Brewers Make Some Crafty Collaborations,” Ruth discusses the similarities between the beer and cheese industries, looks at a few of the ways beer is used in the cheesemaking process and shares a few of the cheesemakers who are using craft beer in the production of their cheeses.
Collaborations to be on the lookout for:
- Brewery Ommegang | Cooperstown, NY + Harpersfield Cheese | Jefferson, NY
- Hill Farmstead Brewery | Greensboro Bend, VT + Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT
- Willimantic Brewing Company | Willimantic, CT + Cato Corner Farm | Colchester, CT
- Rogue Ales | Newport, OR + Rogue Creamery | Central Point, OR
- Otter Creek Brewing Company, Middlebury, VT + Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton, VT
- Rock Art Brewery | Morrisville, VT + Mt. Mansfield Creamery | Morrisville, VT
- Trapp Family Lodge Brewery | Stowe, VT + Von Trapp Farmstead Dairy | Waitsfield, VT
Brewmaster, The Brooklyn Brewery
Garrett Oliver, a true champion of both craft beer and food, shares his love of both all over the world. As the author of many books, including The Brewmaster’s Table, Oliver touts craft beer as cheese’s perfect partner through speaking engagements, demonstrations, pairing challenges and interviews.
Craft Beer and Cheese Pairings with Behind the Burner
International cheese and wine expert
Julia Rogers, of Cheese Culture, a cheese education, events and consulting business, believes craft beer triumphs over wine when paired with cheese. In an article from Cheeselover.ca: “Beer pairs with cheese better than wine,” Julia says beer works with cheese on three levels:
- Physiological: It serves as a counterpoint to salt in cheese and “scrubs” (due to the carbonation) fat and protein off the tongue.
- Sensory: The primary tastes and aromatic features of beer and cheese are highly compatible.
- Intellectual and spiritual: Beer and cheese are among the primal foods of the human race. Enjoying them returns us to ancient roots.
American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional