Cheese is a challenging one-ingredient dish to match with most beverages. The variety of pungent, strong, earthy and creamy flavors of cheese can confuse the palate. Craft beer, however, has flavor profiles that often mirror artisan cheeses and enhance the flavors of both the beer and cheese.
Cheese and craft beer both benefit from proper service temperatures. Let cheese warm from cold storage to a temperature around 55-60F. Match intensities. Delicate craft beers often pair well with young cheeses, while stronger flavored craft beers tend to work better with strongly flavored, mature cheeses. Look for commonalities (e.g. malt-forward craft beers pair with nutty or sweet cheeses) and contrasting interactions (e.g. hop-forward bitter beers cut through fatty richness). Recognize ancillary sensations and interactions in the pairing; hop-intense craft beers pair well with acidic or salty cheeses. Arrange pairing order from least intense to most intense flavors. Avoid commingling cheeses and use separate utensils for each.