Beer and Cheese pairing: Complex Pairing course

Yesterday for our Complexing Pairing course we experiemented with Beer and cheese pairing at Bar Volo!

 Below I’ve rated the pairings from  -2 (bad pairing) to +2 (excellent pairing).

 I’ve also made a few notes on 3 things you always look for in a pairing:
1. Cut – Cut is when the beer cuts through the rich flavors of the food and cleanses the palate

2. Contrast – Contrast is when the beer and food have two opposite flavour profiles and both of these items are enhanced in flavor

3. Compliment – Complementing is when you match the flavors of the beer with the flavors of the food


Left to Right: Stilton, Reblochon, Pierre Robert, Aged Gouda, Montgomery’s cheddar, Paillot de Chevre, Monforte Sheep Milk Cheddar

1. Monforte Sheep Milk Cheddar (Pasteurized sheep’s milk, hard, cooked pressed)

 Paired with King Pilsner 

This pairing was an ok pairing. This pairing was both compliment and contrast. The grassy hop notes in the beer complimented nicely with the earthiness of the cheese. The cheese actually shortened the lingering finish of the Pilsner.  Nothing to great, but not bad either.

 2. Paillot de Chevre (Pasteurized Goat’s milk, soft, chevre, bloomy rind)

 Paired with Denison’s Weissbier

Again another contrast pairing, the effervescent carbonation of the weissbier cut through the creaminess and richness of the cheese. The Banana notes in the beer complimented the lactic flavors in the chevre.

Paired with Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

This was my favorite pairing!

The Goat cheese earthy/grassy notes complimented perfectly with the saison’s herbal flavors of coriander. The saison has a smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel and this went nicely with the creaminess of the cheese – especially the part of the cheese near the rind.

 3. Montgomery Cheddar (Raw cow’s milk, firm, cooked pressed)

 Paired with Black Oak Nut Brown

This was a classic english style pairing. The nuttiness of the cheddar complimented the nuttiness of the cheese. The smooth mouthfeel of the beer cut through the cheddar nicely. I liked how the sweet caramel notes of the nut brown played nicely with the saltiness of the cheddar.

 Paired with Wellington Russian Imperial Stout (cask)

With this pairing the Cheddar made the roasted notes in the RIS more dominant. Again you have the sweet/salty combination would I love! This beer actually brought out the grassy notes in the cheese. Overall both contrasted nicely together and enhanced each other.

 4. Reblochon (Raw cow’s milk, soft, uncooked pressed, washed rind)

 Paired with Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

This pairing was not a good one. The Reblochon and the beer clashed badly. Neither made either other better. The beer was lost in the cheese and vice versa.

 5. Pierre Robert (Pasteurized cow’s milk, soft, triple cream, bloomy rind)

 Paired with Wellington Russian Imperial Stout (cask)

This had potential to be a good pairing. The triple cream cheese took over the RIS and the beer was lost. I think it might have been better pairing this beer with the draft version as the carbonation would have helped cut through the rich cheese. This pairing might have been better with a cheese that was less rich.

 6. Aged Gouda (Pasteurized cow’s milk, hard, cooked pressed, natural rind)

 Paired with Muskoka Mad Tom

 The Mad Tom brought out the bitterness in the gouda. It also made the Gouda less creamy. This was definitely a cut pairing as the bitterness and medium carbonation of the beer cut through the gouda. The gouda had a slight flavor of nuttiness and it played well the orange peel notes of the beer.

7. Stilton (Pasteurized cow’s milk, firm, blue, natural rind, uncooked pressed)

Paired with Brooklyn Monster Ale

Again one of my favorite pairings. This is a classic pairing. The richness and complexity of both the barley wine and the Stilton complimented each other. You definitely have the sweet/salty combination with the barley wine being a very sweet beer. The creaminess of both the cheese and beer complimented each other as well.. I also like how the earthiness of the cheese really brought out the dark fruit flavors of the barley wine.

Paired with Muskoka Mad Tom

I really liked this pairing as well. I like how the bitterness of the beer cuts through the richness of the cheese and really cleans the palate. I really liked how the slight sweetness of the IPA complimented the sweetness of the Stilton. Definitely more of a summer pairing as oppose to the above.



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