So many of us default to pairing cheese with wine but here’s a revolutionary idea - try beer. Beer’s carbonation works well to cut through the richness of cheese plus its natural bitterness and acidity act to cleanse the palate.
Beer, like cheese, is not all created equally. Cheese runs the gamut from fresh curd to white moulds or washed rinds through to hard cooked cheeses and blues. Beers similarly range from fresh and lively through to full-bodied ales, sours, fruit beers to heavier and even barrel-aged stouts.
There are few rules around what cheese goes with what beer but some pairings are a little more obvious than others. Think about how do the beer and cheese complement each other, or provide an interesting contrast. Another good clue is to look to the region where both are traditionally produced.
Some ideas to get you started: chèvre’s fresh, delicate flavour deserves a lively pilsner or hefeweizen; earthy, vegetal Camembert work well with a gentle danky IPA or weissbier; put a big English bitter with a chunk of Cheddar and you’ve almost made a ploughmans lunch; blue cheeses are great friends with sweeter beers such as syrupy stouts or barleywines.
To kick off our cheese and beer matchings, we present La Sirène Farmhouse Red with Brillat Savarin - Will Studd 200g. La Sirène Farmhouse Red brings a lively acidity and restrained bubble which more than meets the rich creaminess of this perennial favourite cheese. From different points on the globe, this cheese and brew make a surprisingly formidable team.
About La Sirène Farmhouse Red 375ml
This farmhouse-style red ale is a beer with a firm sense of place, from the hibiscus flowers and rose petals grown near Byron Bay to the dense microflora present at the Alphington brewery. On first taste, lively stone fruit and sweet red berries excite the palate. Next up is a refreshing acidity balanced with an earthy complexity. Full-bodied with generous malt, this red ale finishes dry and slightly vinous.
About the cheese
Will Studd selected Brillat Savarin is made from whole milk with added crème fraîche in Burgundy. Brillat-Savarin can be served at many different ages, when young the texture is dense, the rind is mild and the flavour has a pleasant crème fraîche tang. As it matures, the rind blooms and becomes spicy, and the texture is like a rich, buttery mousse.
A little history about La Sirène
La Sirène has come a long way since their 2010 inception. With a focus on Saison style beers, they’ve expanded into wild-fermented ales, hoppy Farmhouse ales and beer/wine hybrids which nod towards founder Nikias’ wine background.
Sustainability is not just a buzz word at La Sirène but very much at the forefront of their approach to brewing practices - from re-engineering their brewhouse in order to minimise water usage to travel miles and packaging initiatives.