In my last article I talked about the rules of serving and storing cheese, as well as the common combinations of beer and cheese. Today, I’m going to help you plan a real beer night, and since I live in Israel, both beer and cheese will be from the Holy Land.
Some beers require a certain time and an appropriate setting, but along with these beers there are other beers, one might say universal beers, that can be drunk anytime, anywhere. It is with this kind of beer that I want to start our beer and cheese evening.
I propose to start with a good Carlsberg pilsner. This beautiful beer is the color of pale amber and has a low alcohol content. It is quite mild and at the same time, in each sip you can feel a slight tingling on the tongue. I would compare the taste of this beer to the touch of a young Christmas tree: you inexorably want to touch these needles again and again.
With Carlsberg I would recommend manchego cheese sliced into thin triangles and sprinkled with aromatic pepper “3 seasons”. Amber beer, light cheese with black crust and colorful peppers create a very bright picture, and you know we start eating with our eyes.
Manchego is a slightly salty, tangy sheep cheese. It is this tanginess that goes perfectly with the classic German hop that is added to Carlsberg beer. The saltiness of the Manchego shades the taste of the beer, and the aroma of the hops instantly and very harmoniously becomes part of the floral bouquet of peppers.
If you don’t have Manchego cheese on hand, you can serve Carlsberg beer with a cream cheese spread on an unleavened cracker. The beer extinguishes the fat content of the cheese, leaving only a feeling of perfect harmony. In this case, the taste of the beer is softer and smoother.
Our next beer will be the classic Viennese lager Tuborg Red. Its deep reddish color is fascinating. After the first sigh, you feel the delicate aroma of oriental spices. It starts to envelope you, gently, not intrusively, and at the same time inexorably.
Bitterness in this beer is felt very gently, but not immediately, but somewhere in the distance, in the long aftertaste. In the beginning you feel the sweetness with the taste of ripe grain and caramel. It is this that acts as a partner with the Emmental cheese. So far, cubes (exactly cubes, not plates) of this cheese just lay in a small irregularly shaped pile next to a glass of Tuborg-a Red. The cubes are juicy yellow on a dark cheese board next to a glass of reddish beer with a white foam cap. It’s just really pretty.
Putting a cube of cheese in your mouth after your first sip of beer, you’ll instantly feel a dramatic change in how you feel. The high fat content of the cheese smoothed and softened all the sharp corners, and its sweetness melded very organically with the malt flavor of the beer. The result is something so coherent that it makes you think of the perfect combination of beer and cheese.
After two wonderful lagers we can move on to a Bavarian-style wheat beer, Weihenstephaner. It is brewed in the oldest brewery in the world and has a mild and delicate taste, with hints of lemon and cloves. You can serve it with soft mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and just squeeze a ripe tomato on top. Besides being beautiful, it’s also delicious: the mozzarella, gently, soft pelery wraps around the beer, and literally lulls it into your mouth. If you don’t have mozzarella, you can serve this beer with מה עז goat cheese, sliced in circles. The combination is less flamboyant, but quite decent.
Recently another very interesting wheat beer appeared in our country – 1665 Blanc. It is as if created for the Israeli consumer: not bitter, delicate, with a very pleasant aroma of peaches and citrus. I would suggest two different cheeses for this beer: Camembert and Roquefort. The first – wonderfully harmonizes with this beer, and the second, on the contrary – emphasizes all the flavors of the Belgian wheat beer 1665 Blanc. Be sure to try both and decide for yourself which one suits you best.
As usual, we move from lighter beers to denser ones. So our next beer is Leffe Blonde. It’s a good Belgian ale, brewed in the traditions of monastic brewing: it’s quite strong, aromatic, and at the same time very easy to drink. Usually this beer is served with meat, but today we are having a cheese day. That’s why I would like to suggest snacking on Leffe Blonde with brie cheese with nuts. The mild flavor of the cheese goes well with the mildness of this beer, and the nuts go well with the flavor of the Belgian ales. If you don’t have this cheese, you can try just putting half a walnut on top of a circle of regular brie cheese. It will be less bright in flavor, but certainly more beautiful. This beer can also be served with the olive oil and tomato mozzarella I wrote about above. It smooths out and softens the flavor of the beer, just like last time. The choice is yours.
Roquefort cheese has always been considered a classic appetizer for the dark Belgian ale Leffe Brown. It perfectly highlights all the details of the beer and brings out the most hidden corners of its taste. When you serve Leffe Brown with Roquefort, you give it an extra brightness. But if you serve this beer with a Labene ((לאבנה and that’s the Tara company (different producers produce different tastes of cheese), you get exactly the opposite effect. Taking a sip of Leffe Brown and putting some labeneh in your mouth, you instantly feel a kind of softness and tenderness in your mouth. All the sharp corners of this beer are magically smoothed out. Suddenly this wonderful Belgian ale appears before you in a completely different form. It has not become less delicious, it has become different: all the sharp corners have disappeared and you are left with a beer with a perfectly harmonious taste and aroma.
Guinness beers have been a tried-and-true snack for years. Personally, I like to wash my Guinness down with a cup of espresso and bitter chocolate. Both the dark chocolate and the coffee accentuate the taste of the roasted malt used to brew this truly great beer. Today, however, we’re once again breaking with tradition and using mascarpone cheese instead of coffee and chocolate. This fat, creamy cheese is often used in cooking, but I suggest snacking on this cheese with Guinness beer. In my opinion, it’s a delicious combination. I hope you like it too.
I would like to conclude this article with another dessert: Somersby cider. Sweet ciders are usually accompanied by a piece of cottage cheese or apple pie. Ciders go great with fruit and creamy ice cream. I personally really like Somersby with crème brûlée. I have two cheeses to choose from: Cascaval and Tel a Emek (טל העמק). Both are quite soft, not very fatty and slightly sweet. It is the softness (in taste) of these cheeses that harmonizes well with the taste of the sour sweet apples of this cider.
So, the cheese and beer menu is ready. All these combinations are not from popular articles on the Internet. They have been personally tested by me together with other professional beer sommeliers. I advise you to check each beer and cheese pairing separately. You may decide to change something, the choice is yours. In any case, you have to agree: Beer and Cheese – it’s great!
Type of beer
Type of cheese
|Pilsner "Carlsberg"||1. Manchego cheese sliced thinly and sprinkled with aromatic "3 seasons" peppers. Manchego is a slightly salty, tangy sheep cheese.|
|Pilsner "Carlsberg"||2. A fat cream cheese (cream cheese). It should preferably be spread on an unleavened cracker.|
|Vienna Lager "Tuborg Red"||Emmental cheese (Emmental), diced|
|Hefeweizen beer "Weihenstephaner"||1. Soft mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and topped with a ripe tomato.|
|Hefeweizen beer "Weihenstephaner"||2.Soft goat cheese sliced in slices.|
|Belgian wheat "1664 Blanc"||1.Camembert|
|Belgian wheat "1664 Blanc"||2.Roquefort|
|Belgian PaleAle "Leffe Blonde"||1. Brie cheese with walnuts|
|Belgian PaleAle "Leffe Blonde"||2.Soft mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and topped with a ripe tomato.|
|Belgian Brown Ale "Leffe Brown"||1.Roquefort cheese|
|Belgian Brown Ale "Leffe Brown"||2.Labene (Greek yogurt) by Tara|
|Irish Stout "Guinness"||1.A cup of espresso coffee with bitter chocolate |
|Irish Stout "Guinness"||2. Mascarpone cream cheese|
|Sweet cider "Somersby"||1.Tel a Emek cheese (a non-fat version of Emmental cheese)|
|Sweet cider "Somersby"||2.Kashkawal cheese|
|Sweet cider "Somersby"||3.Cheese or apple pie |
|Sweet cider "Somersby"||4.Fruit and ice cream |
|Sweet cider "Somersby"||5.Creme brulee|