7 beer and cheese pairings for an aperitif

Recently, two major trends accompany cheese tasting. Firstly, the French are consuming more and more of it as an aperitif and no longer before dessert. The idea? Maximize the pleasure of tasting with a virgin palate. Virgin certainly, but not dry. Because the other big trend linked to cheese is liquid. We are massively abandoning wine, the original pairing, in favor of beer. We asked three beer experts to find seven perfect pairings between cheeses classified by family and all types of beer. Verdict.

What beer with washed rinds such as Maroilles, Munster, Epoisses?

For Gwilherm de Cerval, culinary journalist and sommelier, the ideal with this type of cheese is a dark amber beer. “With the washed crusts, no hesitation, you need a dark beer. This family, we're not going to lie, oozes, smells strong and above all develops smoky notes. A dark beer with character, which can even be taken amber, brings roasted, cocoa aromas which counterbalance the power of the cheese on the nose and in the mouth.

What beer with flowery rinds such as Camembert, Brie, Coulommiers, Brillat-Savarin, Saint-Marcellin?

“This band gives off floral aromas. We must therefore respond to them with light blond beer which generally gives off other very subtle white flower aromas. What's interesting is the texture. For example, with a well-made and smooth Camembert, you need a beer that wakes you up with its bubbles but also rinses the palate. Besides, in this type of case, drinking beer rather than wine really makes sense.”

What beer with uncooked pressed pasta like Ossau-Iraty, Saint-Nectaire, Morbier?

For Clara Solvit, a cheesemaker based in Paris at Fromagerie La Fontaine (16th), head for a light blonde beer. “These cheeses have soft bodies with a strong lactic side. They are soft and balanced, and go perfectly with a light blonde, also balanced. We are going in the same direction. Another possibility is to do the opposite and opt for a fruity and bitter brown which will break the sweetness and creaminess of these cheeses.”

What beer with cooked pressed cheese like Comté, Emmental, Beaufort, Abundance?

“As they are hard cheeses, they take a long time to chew and then remain in the mouth. You therefore need a beer that also lasts over time. This is the case with ambers, which also develop notes of roasted hazelnuts, a perfect nod to cheese. A specific example, an old Comté with a Guinness, that is to say a beer with powerful coffee aromas, it’s the truly perfect pairing.”

What beer(s) with blue cheese like Bleu d'Auvergne, Roquefort, Fourme d'Ambert?

“So there, you absolutely need an IPA. We respond to power with bitterness, for a deal that is disappointing! Roquefort, for example, explodes in your mouth like Frizzi Pazzi candies when we were little. To accompany it, you have to go in its direction with a shot of bitterness. Or, on the contrary, counterbalance with a sweet and fruity beer, counter the salty side with something sweet.”

What beer with dry goat cheeses such as crottin, tome?

For Louis Macera, an independent wine merchant in the Basque Country, specializing in beer: “A little dry goat's cheese always works well with a seasonal beer, as they say in the jargon. It is a mild beer made with flavored hops and therefore gives off floral scents. It is THE table beer par excellence. It goes perfectly with goat cheese because it coats its dry side and refreshes, while rinsing the palate.”

What beer with semi-dry log type goat cheeses, Selles-sur-cher?

“A sour beer with red fruits, a sort of Belgian kriek, that is to say made from a maceration of red fruits such as cherries. Its acid profile breaks the fresh side of the cheese then the red fruit re-envelops, restoring deliciousness. As if we were eating cottage cheese with jam. For an ultra-fresh goat's cheese, the ideal is either a white beer or a very light blonde. In this case, you have to go light on light to get the best aromas from both products. »

Cheese and hot drinks pairing

In addition to beer and cider, we sometimes even see extremely unusual cheese-drink pairings such as Comté vodka, Camembert champagne or even Beaufort sake. Yes, yes, true. But do you necessarily have to drink alcohol when you eat cheese? Why not a hot drink? Here are three very hot pairings.

  • Lapsang souchong, a black tea from the Chinese province of Fujian, known for its smoky flavor, goes wonderfully with Roquefort. The strong aromas of the tea give it the strength to melt quickly in the mouth and bring out a balance between milky and smoky. (Also possible with a Brillat-Savarin or a smoked gouda).
  • Long Juin green tea, also known as “Dragon's Well”, offers a sweet scent with notes of chestnut, ideal for slightly softening a goat's cheese or adding softness to a brie.
  • Coffee goes well with certain cheeses, especially at the end of a meal or during brunch. However, specialists on the subject, such as the baristas at Café Lomi in Paris, offer their customers the opportunity to dip a piece of blue cheese in an Arabica espresso. Be careful, however, you must follow one rule: mild cheese with light coffee and strong cheese with intense coffee.

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