Monday, February 3, 2020

Cheeses of Europe Beer Pairing

In January of 2020, Owen Ogletree organized a tasting panel made up of The Beer Wench, Ashton Smith, Sachin Patel, Brian "Spike" Buckowski, Flavia Costa, and Dean & Gail Graves to comment on pairings of six classic European cheeses with six flavorful craft beers. Sachin Patel owns Five Points Bottle Shops in Athens, Georgia and Spike Buckowski is founder of Terrapin Beer Company in Athens. Photos are by Ashton Smith. 

These pairings were suggested by literature shown below from Check out their informative website and get their free cheese app. We first did this pairing at last year's Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference known as Beer Now. Cheeses all came from iGourmet. Try some of these pairing at home!

We did not have access to the beers suggested by the cheese flyer, so we made comparable substitutions and ranked our favorites.


Emmental & Saison Dupont
The cheese seems quite nutty and Swiss-like, and these qualities are complemented by the esters and hops of this world-class Saison. The hops especially work well with the nutty, delicious cheese. A perfect pairing. 

Triple Creme & Blackberry Farm Classic Belgian-Style Ale (Saison)
The cheese is sweet and buttery with an exceptionally creamy quality that coats the tongue. The fruity, lightly tart, farmhouse Saison goes beautifully with the cheese to complement the flavors and then cleanse the palate. 

Mimolette & Monday Night Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale
It is frustrating that the wonderful style of Doppelbock has fallen out of favor with modern craft beer drinkers who seem to prefer their beer to taste like candy, dessert and children's cereal. With no fresh Doppelbock lagers available, Owen substituted the similar ale style of Scotch Wee Heavy. The Drafty Kilt's malty, chocolatey notes pair extremely well with the creamy, lemony, salty, Parmesan-like character of the orange cheese that also offers a slightly dry texture and fruity, umami, earthy quality. 

Camembert & Urban Tree FC Fan Cider
This classic French cheese serves up salty, earthy, funky, fungal notes that pair well with the crisp, fruity, bright, semi-sweet cider that cleanses the cheese from the palate, making way for the next bite. Camembert and cider always make a delightful match. 

ComtĂ© & Creature Comforts Tropicália IPA
The cheese is buttery, Swiss-like, nutty and earthy. These notes marry well with malty character and citrusy, piney, bittering hops of the American IPA that form an interesting contrast to the rich cheese. Both the cheese and beer have a mineraly, spicy finish. Some said the IPA might be too bold for this cheese.

Fourme d'Ambert & Wild Heaven Double "O" Weizenbock
This legendary blue cheese might have been a bit too much for the mellow, malty Weizenbock that  offered tasty notes of orange peel, wheat, clove and banana. The cheese assaulted the palate with bold, earthy flavors of mushrooms, farmhouse character, Pediococcus lactic acidity and overall funkiness, while the strong wheat ale attempted to complement the cheese and brighten the palate. 

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