Taste Beer with Cheese

While wine has long been paired with cheese, the idea of beer being drunk with cheese may sound new, except it is not. Back in the middle ages, Belgium’s still famous beer brewing monasteries were serving cheese with beer. They still do so today.

It may be true, however, claim that when we think of a drink to go with cheese, we tend to think of wine. When you give the subject a little more thought though, beer with its various flavors can make an exceptional accompaniment to cheese. Italy has cheeses coming out of its ears. Indeed, Italy has so many varieties of cheese, even it’s unsure how many their are. Estimates range from around 400 varieties to over 500. That’s an awful lot of different cheeses! Italy really is a cheese lover’s paradise.

Italy’s cheeses are very varied too. There’s everything from soft cheese to cheese which is almost as hard as rock - I know, I’ve tried Italy’s ‘rock’ cheese and my teeth survived. I later discovered that the best way to sample rock cheese is to grate it over food.

One cheese for which Italy is famous, and one of my favourites,  is tangy, creamy Gorgonzola. A beer which is worth trying with Gorgonzola is Birra Morretti La Rossa. And another good beer to try with Gorgonzola is Westmalle Triple, a Trappist beer which is a type of beer Italy’s Gorgonzola Consortium recommends.

Another cheese for which Italy is famous, is parmigiano reggiano, formerly known as parmesan. Real parmigiano cheese is superb stuff and the seasoned varieties are very tasty too. While some people may think parmigiano is only really used in cooking, it is also delicious to eat on its own. You could add to the experience by trying lovely parmigiano with full flavoured Birra Moretti Grand Cru

Next up is tasty scamorza affumicata - smoked scamorza cheese. Delicious in its own right, smoked scamorza cheese is worth trying with fruity beers such as Birra Morretti La Rossa, Birra Moretti Grand Cru and Holt Maplemoon.

The next time you pop down to your local supermarket for some cheese, hopefully Italian cheese, add some beers to your shopping basket too. Why not hold a beer and cheese tasting party too? Then you can discover for yourself which beers go best with which cheeses. Add to the fun by asking your friends to bring along a couple of bottles of beer which they’d like to try with cheese.

If you do hold a beer and cheese tasting, then let me know how it went. Also let me know which beers went best with which cheeses!


By Alex P. Roe