These pairings will revolve around one particular cheese, of course and I will briefly describe each cheese and include any catchy trivia I learn along the way. Nearly every cheese will have two and sometimes more beer pairing suggestions. The beer descriptions will make up the bulk of each post as I will describe the specific beers and their sub-styles. Each beer description will end with an explanation of why I think you should pair each beer with a specific cheese variety.
It takes a flavorful beer to stand up to a blue cheese and American IPA's are up for the task. While the Redhook IPA is a great starting point for IPA beginners I would suggest a more powerful IPA such as Titan or 60 Minute IPA. They have a more aggressive hop flavor and bitterness that resonates quite well this Monviso Blue.
The citric hop flavors help the blue cheese flavors burst above the cream in the cheese momentarily while the hops and malt balance and contrast the salty cream flavors nicely. Really, it is almost like eating a big grilled steak while enjoying a crisp IPA. The beer does finally win in this pairing as the hops, alcohol and carbonation scrub and refresh the palate. Or does it, as you will likely crave another bite of cheese after that last drink!
Examples: Two Hearted Ale, 60 Minute IPA, Hop Devil Ale, Raser 5, Titan, Blind Pig
Serving Temp: 40°- 45°
Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug
Aroma: Think citrus (grapefruit), resinous pine, or even tropical fruit. There may be a slight sweetness present from the malt but the hop aromas will most likely cover up those aromas.
Appearance: Colors will vary from medium gold to a reddish copper but they will all be clear unless they have been dry hopped and then there may be a slight haze. Because the malt used has very little dark color the head will be white to off white and should persist.
Flavor: IPA’s are all about the hops (bitterness, flavor and aroma) and so there will be medium to high amount of hop flavor and bitterness that will reflect the American hop citrus qualities (citrusy, floral, resinous, pine). Malt flavor will be low to showcase all the hop characteristics.
Mouthfeel: You can expect a medium body with a pleasing mouth puckering bitterness (think grapefruit) that helps to dry the beer out and creates a thirst quenching, refreshing beer.
Food Pairings: Cheese: Pepper Jack. Meat: Fish, smoked salmon. Cuisine: American, Mexican.
HopHeadSaid: I love IPA’s! They are refreshing when it is hot out and their warming alcohol keeps you warm when it is cold. These beers pair well with many foods especially savory or sweet foods. The bitterness and alcohol help cleanse the palate of savory foods like cheeses or fried foods and the bitterness also helps keep the sweet foods in check. But if you want to spice things up a bit drink an IPA with some spicy salsa. The bitterness momentarily emphasizes the spice but the alcohol helps to refresh the palate just like a tortilla chip.
Topics: Food Pairing, Beer Pairing, Cheese Pairing, Beer and Food, Beer and Cheese