Seeing as though we’re on the cusp of the holiday season, it’s time to revisit an annual struggle: Encouraging relatives to welcome your formal dinner’s one estranged guest, beer. This topic rears its head every year, and while wine might still be the go-to beverage, it’s always fun to show how beer can share the spotlight at any holiday feast. For the next few months I’ll spend some time showing how you can incorporate our country’s favorite beverage at the dinner table. Today, we start with cheese.
Here’s what Sonny Simonian, a former brewer at Lost Coast and Mad River, and current Cypress Grove Chevre quality assurance manager, has to say:
“Beer, with its balance of sweetness, acidity and carbonation, provides a much larger palate of flavors and aromas, making it more diverse in terms of what foods, and especially cheeses, you can pair with it. Sweet, cloying wines can cover subtle food nuances, and the mouth drying substances produced by tannic acids in dry wine can also mask flavors, so you have to be more careful about pairing selections. In my opinion, lots more beers go with a lot more cheeses.”
The folks at Cypress Grove Chevre have made this task as easy as possible. After traveling across the country, pairing their cheese with craft beer, they’ve come up with a free, downloadable beer-cheese pairing guide that should help you plot out your next gathering of foodies. Download the pairing sheet, or a pairing placemat, and give it a go.