Wine and cheese is the classic combo, but in the summer nothing is better than an ice-cold beer with a side of carefully selected cheese. Pairing beer and cheeses is harder to find than wine and cheese since, for most people, it is a less popular combo, but at Carnivore Club, we think that cheese and beer are the perfect appetizer and drink pairing for backyard barbeques, pool parties, and other summer activities.
There are a few key considerations when selecting cheese and beer for a summer event. You will want a light beer pairing with low alcohol content since in the heat you drink faster and get dehydrated more quickly. No one wants to drink a Guinness on a 90-degree day at a picnic. Then, you will want to pick a lighter cheese to compliment the beer. Nothing overly rich or creamy texture, like these, tend to be heavier.
Here are our go-to summertime beer and cheese pairing:
Pale Ale and Buttery Cheese. A light IPA brewed with rye is a great summer choice. Our favorite is Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. It’s brewed with five varieties of hops. A light and buttery cow’s milk cheese or a fresh goat cheese is the perfect contrast to hoppy beer pairings.
Pilsner and Blue Cheese. A light, acidic pilsner is another great summer choice. A good beer for this would be something like Lagunas Pils. The acidity means that you can pair well with a funky cheese like a blue. Together these two will pack a punch of stronger flavors you can’t find often when pairing beer and cheese.
Fruity IPA and Mozzarella. A fruity IPA like Creature Comforts Tropicália craft beer pairs well with fatty cheese like mozzarella. The malty sweetness of passion fruit and citrus notes that his beer brings easily cuts through a fattier cheese for a nice refreshing summer feeling.
Citrus IPA and Cheddar. The bitter hops in an IPA with citrusy notes contrast well with the strong flavor of sharp cheddar. We like the West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing Company since it combines grapefruit zest with pungent hops for a powerful citrus flavor. For a bonus cheese, a nice, aged gouda would also pair well with a cirtusy IPA.
Save your favorite wine and cheese pairing for the fall. For your next summer event, consider ditching the wine in favor of a nice cheese and beer spread. A cold beer is more refreshing than a glass of wine in the warm weather of a summer day, and when paired with the right cheese it is sure to be a hit! Try out our suggestion and find your favorite pairings!