We know that lots of you love drinking wine with our cheeses. We’ve already shared some great pairing ideas for our Red Wine Collection and White Wine Collection. Today we’re going to share something a little more unusual; beers to pair with our Beer Collection!
When pairing beers with cheeses, follow the same principles as a wine pairing. You’re looking for beers that will complement the flavor of the cheese without overpowering it. This collection should serve around 20 guests. Read on to find out which cheeses are included and how you can pair them with beer for a really fun evening.
Our Brick cheese is an American original from Wisconsin. It’s a medium-soft cheese with an easy crumble. Whilst this cheese had a sweet, mild flavor when it is young, it matures into a strong, ripe cheese.
To complement these mature flavors, look for a bold, fruity pale ale. This will stand up to the ripe cheese in the same way that a Sauvignon Blanc might. For a younger cheese, consider a Weiss Beer.
Gouda is a yellow cow’s milk cheese with a wax coating. It undergoes a process known as “washing the curd” which creates a sweet cheese with a slightly crunchy saltiness.
All of this makes it a very versatile cheese for drinks pairings. You’ll also find it in our White Wine Collection for this reason. One great choice would be Helles. This is a German, pale, lager-style beer with a smooth flavor. Alternatively, a beer with caramel notes such as a malty IPA would work well.
Gruyere is a sweet and nutty cheese, which develops a salty earthiness as it is aged from five months to up to a year. This gives it its slightly grainy texture.
Gruyere will pair well with a number of beers but one of the more unusual choices would be a porter. This a dark style of hoppy beer with brown malt. It’s full-bodied, with a roasted flavor that will complement the nuttiness of this cheese. Add a fruity relish for even more flavor.
Ohio Premium Swiss Cheese
Our Ohio Premium Swiss is made in Pearl Valley through a time-honoured process that gives this cheese its distinctive holes and a nutty, bittersweet taste.
A Weiss beer is a great choice for Ohio Swiss as it adds creaminess and complements through the sweetness. This is a beer made with malted wheat in place of some of the usual barley. It produces a beer with low bitterness and some fruity qualities. You could also try Swiss Cheese with a pale ale or craft lager.
Other great cheeses to pair with beers are Limburger or Beer Cheese. We stock both of these cheeses but have chosen not to include them in the collection as they both have a strong smell that might be imparted to the other cheeses in the box. Why not pick them up separately for the ultimate cheese and beer tasting?
Try our Beer Collection today, bring together some friends and have some fun with a cheese and beer evening!
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Summer is fast approaching, this is the time to be getting ready for our summer vacations, but what better way to kick start them than with an ice cold beer? Let’s really think about it- at what point does a vacation really begin? Some say it is when you finish your last day of work, some might say the morning of, but let’s be real… You’re not really on vacation until you’re on that plane, sitting back, relaxing and cracking open that first ice cold beer of the vacation. This being said, which domestic airline really does have the best beer list?
A lot of airlines sadly only cater a good beer selection to the more premium classes on board, so in order to win, the airline must serve a great selection to every passenger in every class. It is often that when airlines are awarded for best food, best service, or best drinks, only the premium cabin is considered, which is ridiculous. The majority of people on board are sitting in coach, and they deserve a good drink just like everyone else. This is why flying with Virgin America is the way to go!
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For all those who already fly Virgin America, congratulations- you have the best in-flight beer list in the U.S. Alongside your staple beers Bud Light and Heineken, Virgin America serves up a wide selection of craft beers, including 21st Amendment Sneak Attack, Die IPA, and Anchor Steam. That’s not even the best part! Customers in the main cabin select section, as well as first class, don’t have to spend a dime on their booze because as well as soft drinks, beer, wine, and liquor are all included in their airline ticket!
Again, that’s not all; Virgin America’s snack list is amazing, too! Obviously, your staple nut mix and chocolate chip cookies are on the list, but if you are craving something a little more ‘fancy’, sea salt popcorn, veggie chips, kettle chips and even jerky sausage is available! Because who wants to drink an ice-cold beer without a salty snack on the side? Still not impressed? For those with a sweet tooth, M&Ms and Vanilla Bean Caramel Popcorn are also available! Can’t decide whether you’re craving sweet or salty? Dig into the mouthwatering Hail Merry Salted Brownie!
Can’t find a flight with Virgin America? Don’t worry, Delta comes in at No. 2. While some might say that Delta takes first place in having the best beer list, it is found that the full selections weren’t always available on flights. In fact, on a lot of the trips, even though they advertised Sweetwater craft beer on board, the flight attendants stated they rarely have it on board, which is why it is only fair Delta takes second place. Jet Blue takes third places because of its offerings from Brooklyn Brewery and Harpoon.
If you are a beer lover and refuse to drink wine, you are totally missing out. It is understandable that beer and wine are two very different drinks- with beer being brewed all year-round with lots of different starches and wine being produced only once a year from different kinds of grapes. Beer is also seen as a more casual drink compared to wine.
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However, just because beer and wine are completely different, it doesn’t mean you should limit yourself. And, while wine and beer are made in different ways, from different products, they still are both fermented, alcoholic drinks which can truly share flavor similarities.
If you are still in doubt, you won’t be after looking at these 6 popular styles of beer and their wine equivalents:
For Stout drinkers- Try Merlot
For those who drink stouts, generally enjoy the comforting richness of the beers roasted, malty flavors. They often give hints of chocolate, coffee, and even toffee. They are quite exceptional beers and tend to be less heavy and bitter than the average beers.
Red wine is definitely the way to go when pairing Stout with wine. Reds particularly in the region of Merlot, Malbec and Shiraz Triangle (all often confused with each other). These wines have a softer approach, with a richness of fruit, yet a balanced acidity that stout drinkers look for.
For the Pale Ale drinkers- Try Grüner Veltliner
For those who enjoy tasting the hops in their beer, but don’t want them dominating the flavor, pale ales are always preferable. Hops give a fresh greenness to the beer, being grassy and slightly bitter, but complimented by bright citrus at the same time.
The best match for this type of beer is Austria’s Grüner Veltliner wine, which has that same green quality as a pale ale. The best way to describe it is the flavor of chive alongside a bitter and spicy flavor like pepper or radish, all brought together with a citrus like lime or grapefruit.
For the Lager drinkers- Try Verdejo From Rueda
Larger is one of the most misconceived styles of beer there is, being thought as boring, unnotable and suitable for mindless drinking at bars or cookouts. The mass production of this style of beer really takes away how awesome Lager actually is, with its crisp, refreshing, savory taste.
Verdejo contains all the qualities that lager drinkers crave in an alcoholic beverage. Verdejo may seem simple at first, but it has hidden savory qualities of good lagers, with its clean drinkability and bright citrus flavors.
For Wheat beer drinkers- Try Albariño From Rias Baixas
Somehow, in a country such as America, who enjoy super bitter beers, have come to love wheat beer and it has come to be the most polarizing style of beer in America. Wheat beer is extremely thirst quenching and intensely fruity with orange and coriander flavors and close flavors of a traditional hefeweizen.
This fruit-driven beer is closely matched to the delicious Albariño From Rias Baixas because it is intensely fruity, with aromas of tropical fruit such as peach and meyer lemon, but with zippy lime flavors and lots of texture. Like wheat beer, the acidity removes any illusion of sweetness, leaving your mouth refreshed and ready for another sip.
For Sour beer drinkers- Try Loire Valley Whites
The popularity of sour beers has definitely grown over the years. Sour beers tend to be tart, earthy and noticeably high in acidity. This generally means the sour beer is inherently very wine-like. The good thing about this being a wine-like beer is there are plenty of high acidic, savory, white wines to choose from.
The Loire Valley selection of wine is mineral-driven, savory whites. For lovers of salty, tart beverages should definitely look to the Loire region of Muscadet near the ocean. For more ‘out there’ sour beer lovers, you should move inland, where Chenin Blanc has funky flavors of cheese rind, toasted nuts and much more.
For IPAs drinkers- Try Sancerre
While a lot of IPAs reside within the pale ale category, a lot of pale ales are less hoppy than IPAs. IPAs are definitely dominated by the flavor of hops, making it greatly bitter and green. You can definitely not mistake this beer with its bold flavor.
Sancerre has intense hop quality and is also citrus-driven in flavor, making it a perfect match to IPAs. Rather than a bell pepper green type flavor, Sancerre’s flavor is more like fresh cut grass or herbs like basil and parsley. With this wine also being acid-driven, the grapefruit and lemon citrus make Sancerre slightly bitter, but refreshing.
It is Easter Weekend this week! What better way to get us ready than explore the world’s favorite, traditional Easter dishes? You never know, you just might find some tasty ideas for your own Easter meal!
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‘Rosquillas’ From Spain
A lot of Spaniards will enjoy these special treats at Easter. These donuts can either be baked or fried. They are made from fermented flour and depending on the region, they’re either dusted with sugar, flavored with rosemary or some even soaked in anise liqueur.
‘Hot Cross Buns’ From U.K.
No Easter in Britain would be complete without Hot Cross Buns. This sweet, spiced bun is marked with a cross and has been eaten for hundreds of years in tradition to Easter. Simmel cakes which are fruit cakes topped with marzipan are also popular during Easter and they are made to resemble the Apostles.
‘Mämmi’ From Finland
Mämmi is traditionally made with rye flour, water, and powdered malted rye. It is also seasoned using dark molasses, dried powdered Seville orange zest, and salt. The name for it in Swedish is Memma.
‘Chervil Soup’ From Germany
Germans traditionally eat green colored foods on Maundy Thursday because it is known as Gründonnerstag or “Green Thursday”. Because of this, Chervil soup is a popular choice.
‘Tsoureki’ From Greece
This bread is quite like brioche. It is flavored with essence drawn from the seed of wild cherries. It’s an Easter tradition mainly because it is often decorated with hard-boiled eggs that have been dyed red, to symbolize the blood of Christ.
‘Kulich’ From Orthodox Christian Countries
Many families from Orthodox Christian Countries such as Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria, are known to bake the Kulich cake during Easter time. Kulich is baked in a tall tin and is decorated with white icing and colorful sprinkles. The cake is also often blessed by a priest after and Easter service.
‘Påskeøl’ From Denmark
This may not be a dish as such but can easily accompany a great Easter dish because in Denmark, this is a special beer during Easter. It is slightly stronger than regular beer too!
‘Pashka’ From Russia
This dessert is in the shape of a pyramid, and for all us cheese lovers, it is made out of cheese! This particular dessert is traditionally served during Easter time in Russia. It is often decorated with the religious symbols ‘XB’, which are from “Christos Voskres”, which translates to “Christ has Risen”.
‘Pinca’ From Eastern Europe
Pinca is similar to a large hot cross bun. It is a sweet bread marked with the sign of the cross and is commonly eaten in Slovenia and Croatia to celebrate the end of Lent. In some areas of Italy, it is also enjoyed.
‘Paçoca De Amendoim’ From Brazil
This tasty Brazilian treat is often served in honor of the Easter festival in Brazil. It is made from peanuts, cassava flour, and sugar.
‘Capirotada’ From Mexico
Capirotada is a spiced Mexican bread pudding which is filled with cinnamon, raisins, cloves and cheese. It is popular during Easter and is said to that each ingredient carries a reminder of the suffering of Christ. The cloves resemble the nails on the cross, the cinnamon as the wooden cross itself and the bread as the Body of Christ.
‘Colomba Di Pasqua’ From Italy
Colomba Di Pasqua is very similar in taste to the Italian Christmas bread ‘Panettone’. This cake is candied peel stuffed and is often shaped like a dove for religious symbolism.
‘Mona De Pascua’ From Spain
This popular Easter cake is traditionally cooked in many regions of Spain during Holy Week (Semana Santa). This cake traditionally is what looks to be a large donut which is topped with a hardboiled egg.
One of the biggest Irish traditions has got to be the beers- from ales and lagers to delicious stouts, they are all staples to most St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world. From Harp to Guinness, there’s a notable Irish brew for every beer lover. Whether you are heading out to a parade on the day or hosting your own party, here are some ‘must-know’ Irish beers to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day!
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Guinness is one of the most popular Irish beers worldwide, especially in the U.S. Its flavor is distinct with smooth aromas and deep, dark, satisfying flavors. There are different Guinness brews which are most popular to have- Guinness Draught, Extra Stout, and Foreign Extra Stout.
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Smithwick’s Irish Ale
Smithwick’s is often referred as “Smitticks”. This ale has a unique flavor to it which combines hops with deep malt, coffee, aromatic fruits and roasted barley notes.
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This lightly colored lager is refreshing in flavor and has a European ring to it. It is rich in flavor and isn’t like any other lager, boasting a smooth and sharp finish.
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Murphy’s Irish Stout
This Irish Stout has become increasingly more popular over the years, particularly in the U.S. It’s much more light a sweet in flavor compared to the other stouts.
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O’Hara’s Celtic Stout
Celtic Stout is a smooth, dry, Irish Stout which combines the rich flavor of coffee with traditional hops. There are also notes of tasty licorice in there!
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Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
With it’s smooth and creamy finish, it has a base flavor which is similar to Smithwick’s. However, the cream ale gives its own unique and delicious blend, nonetheless.
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Beamish Irish Stout
This Beamish Irish Stout was formulated back in 1792 to capture the traditional taste of stout from Ireland. It has a fully rounded, malted flavor.
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Murphy’s Irish Red
This beer dates back all the way to 1856. It is a crisp and dry beer which is naturally red, with hints of fruit and caramel in its flavor.
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O’Hara’s Irish Wheat
This Irish Stout isn’t as common, however, it is a good, tasty brew which is perfect for those lighter drinkers in need of an easy-drinking option. Including fruits such as peaches, bananas, plums mixed with traditional hops, this golden wheat ale is smooth and quenches your thirst.
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Porterhouse Brewing Co. Oyster Stout
Quite like its name, this stout is truly unique. Being one of Dublin’s favorite aromatic beer, it is bursting with interesting blends of dark, flavorful hops, grains and strangely enough, fresh oysters!
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The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Syndey is Australia’s largest Irish event there is. It centers around different things and this year it will center around family. The parade features two music stages with over 20 acts including Aoife Scott, daughter of Frances Black. This family fun parade will also host lots of food and craft stalls and a dedicated children’s area where kids can enjoy activities such as bouncy castles, face painting, Irish dance lessons, and storytelling- all free of charge.
Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival has followed its tradition since 1824, making it one of the longest-running St. Patrick’s celebrations in North America. The United Irish Society of Montreal who has been organizing the event for over 90 years have even helped revive St. Patrick’s Day festivals in the cities of Quebec, Toronto, Hudson, Ottawa, and Chateauguay. The festival is also Montreal’s official start to spring, no matter what the weather is- in the last seven years having seen torrential rain, snowstorms, and blazing heat! You can expect this festival to include more than 100 entries of marching bands, floats and thousands of participants from all over Quebec and Ontario.
This beautiful Isle of the Caribbean is the only country other than Ireland which counts St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday. This is because the Irish connections date back all the way to the 17th century when Irish Catholics fled to this safe haven after being persecuted on neighboring islands. The connection is so strong that visitors receive a Shamrock stamp on their passports! St. Patrick’s Day is not only a national holiday but a week-long celebration, showcasing the amazing, unique African-Irish heritage.
4. New York
New York has always been known for putting on a big show, and nothing changes with St. Patricks Day- New York having celebrated it since 1792! This year’s parade will have 200,000 people marching on the parade route. The parade will begin at 11 am, and will march up to 5th Avenue, stopping outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral to be greeted by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.
5. Buenos Aires
With over 500,000 Irish people and their descendants living in Argentina, there’s every reason to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! The event is co-hosted by the Argentina-Ireland Association and the Buenos Aires city government, and the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires. It takes over the whole city, culminating in Plaza St. Martin, where there are 100s of food and beer stalls with Irish dancers and live music and huge processions of bagpipes! The event is known as Dia de San Patricio and will be a beer-fuelled party which carries on till the early hours.
Beer and Cheese: A New Marriage?
Beer and cheese may not be the first things you’d pair together, but believe it or not, the union of the two go all the way back to the Middle Ages. In fact, in Belgium, exceptional beer and cheeses were such an important part of their everyday lives, that even today it is a delicacy and small bowls of cheese are often served in beer bars to accompany your beer.
You may think the best suited alcoholic beverage to accompany cheese is wine. Although cheese can make the cheapest of wines enjoyable, wine can be overpowering to our taste buds at times and make it hard to relish delicious cheese to the fullest potential.
On the other hand, beer and cheese are both farmhouse products which automatically means they compliment each other. Typically, a farmer’s diet back in the day consisted of cold meat, cheese, and beer. Beer and cheese have very close origins, in the fact that barley, which is a cereal grass, is a product used to make beer and milk is a by- product of a cow eating grass. Consequently, the fact that they share such similar characteristics means that they are both alike in flavor and aroma and ultimately compliment each other greatly.
How to pair beer and cheese
Try having your favorite beer with a plate of different cheeses and find one which you most enjoy with it, as the preference is the best way to find a pairing. Also, putting together complex beers with complex cheeses is a good tip when it comes to pairing the two.
Here’s a list of ideas when it comes to pairing beer with popular cheeses:
* Pale Ale with Sharp Cheddar
* Wheat Beer with Feta
* Fruit Beer with Mascarpone
* Pilsner with American Cheese
* Brown Ale with Colby
* Amber Lager with Parmesan
* Octoberfest Beer with Swiss Cheese
Basically, the main thing when it comes to pairing beer with cheese is having a play around with the process, experiment with your own preferences and remember that beer is the beverage which goes with all types of food or on its own, so theirs a huge variety of possibilities!
A Helpful Serving Tip:
Buy raw milk, cow, goat or sheep cheeses. Milk that is not pasteurized and has not been processed will culture while milk that has undergone pasteurization processes produces cheese whose scents and flavors are removed. Contrarily, cheese that are produced from raw milk are richer, fuller and support traditional cheese-making processes.