Got beer? Just add cheese.

December 8th, 2011
The history of beer and cheese goes back to the Middle Ages in Belgium, where monasteries would offer both to the monks as part of their diet. Some monasteries even sold the cheese they made for profit, just as they did with their beer. Reminders of the old days are still present in Belgium and some brewpubs still serve cheese with the beer you order. Still not convinced beer and cheese go well together? Think about their key ingredients. Both beer and cheese essentially come from grass. Barley is used to make beer and milk is a by-product of what happens when a cow eats grass. No wonder they complement each other so well. Another quality that makes beer so food-friendly is carbonation, which helps your palate adjust to the many flavors in the cheese. When deciding which cheeses and beers to pair with each other, try a simple mix-and-match selection and see what works best for your own palate. Some people prefer pairing richer beers with richer cheeses to introduce a level of complexity to the palate. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: * Gorgonzola and blue cheeses work well with Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and a number of Rouge beers from Oregon. * Pilsners:http://destinationbeer.com/styles/german-pilsener that have a bit of hop flavor to them, such as Harpoon or Stella Artois:http://destinationbeer.com/beers/stella-artois, pair well with Monterey Jack, Havarti and Muenster. * Gruyère and Swiss taste great with a darker beer, like a bock: http://destinationbeer.com/styles/traditional-german-bockor an Oktoberfest:http://destinationbeer.com/styles/german-oktoberfest-weisen-type of beer. The malts these beers use make them a favorite of ours when snacking on Gruyère. * Try pairing wheat beers:http://destinationbeer.com/styles/belgian-white-wheat with some feta or goat cheese. If you add crackers or bread, use something neutral that won't add an unappealing flavor to the experience. Also, serve cheese at room temperature. This will enhance the flavors and nuances you experience when tasting the beer and cheese. Got Beer? Just add cheese. Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2009, from http://www.democratandchronicle.com