There is a whole world of new taste combinations to be discovered by pairing beer and cheese
In the UK, a ‘ploughman’s lunch’ has been a fixture on pub menus for generations. Although there’s much debate surrounding the correct constituent elements and each chef will have their own variation, a true ploughman’s should involve a hunk of crusty bread, a pickled onion, a slab of British hard cheese and a pint of local beer.
Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium’s bars often provide beer-drinkers with a small bowl of cubed hard cheese sprinkled with celery salt, to nibble during drinking – while across the Atlantic in the American state of Kentucky, a cheese spread made using beer is a much-loved match for crackers and pretzels. The best beer to use for this dip differs depending on who you’re talking to, as closely-guarded methods for ‘beer cheese’ are handed down through families keen to keep their recipes to themselves.
But why are beer and cheese so well suited? Some say it’s the bitterness in beer which helps to break up the fats found in cheese. While others believe the main reason for pairing beer with cheese is their complementary flavour profiles. Indeed bringing the right two together is relatively simple: light beers go with delicate cheeses, while stronger ales require robustly flavoured cheeses. But the only real way to discover a match is by personal experimentation.
For two unusual beer infused recipes, check out our infographic below.