Is your dad a foodie? If so, what better way to celebrate Father’s Day (this Sunday) than with a beer and cheese pairing? No matter what style of beer your pops prefers, we have some curd and suds suggestions that have all been tested and approved by culture staff. Read on below to explore the pairings. Happy Father’s Day!
A few tips for pairing beer and cheese for Father’s Day (and in general): Just as you should let your cheeses warm to room temperature (at least 30 minutes) to allow flavors and aromas to unfold, you should also do the same for beer (yep, really). A general rule of thumb: The stronger the beer, the warmer it can, and should, be served. When tasting pairings, take a bite of cheese, chew, and swallow. Sip the beer. Nibble the cheese again, chasing with beer while the cheese is still tiptoeing across your taste buds. Repeat as often as necessary.
The Crowd Pleaser
This is arguably the default beer and cheese pairing; Everybody loves a good pale ale, especially once the weather starts warming up. If your dad fancies this clean, balanced brew, fill your cheeseplate with crowd pleasing curds like fresh chèvre and young, sharp cheddar. The dry, bubbly beer is a perfect complement to the citrus and floral flavors often found in both cheddar and chèvre. Here at culture, we love Stone Brewing Co.’s Pale Ale with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.
Down on the Farm
Saisons, also called farmhouse ales, make for super warm weather drinking as well. But unlike the clean, light flavor profile of pale ale, saisons typically have a little more fruit, a little more funk, and a kick of spice. The alcohol content can be higher as well. As a result, this beer style needs a cheese with a little more oomph. Goat’s milk still works — the citrus-y flavor profile matches up well with the spice and fruit notes in farmhouse ales — but fresh chèvre can easily be overwhelmed here. Instead, seek out an aged goat cheese like Bonne Bouche (pictured above with Stillwater Ales Debauched) or Old Kentucky Tomme; these cheeses have the funk and fat necessary to stand up to a saison.
Is your dad a hop head? Satisfy his need for green with a spicy, grassy IPA in one hand and a hard, aged cow’s milk cheese in the other. Because these are both such broad categories (and, not coincidentally, both extremely popular ones) there’s plenty of room for experimentation. Head to your local cheese shop and ask your monger for some recommendations that fit the style — and if the shop carries beer as well, pick out some IPAs. Looking for a little more direction? We love Beecher’s Flagship Reserve with Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA (pairing pictured above), and Cricket Creek Maggie’s Round with Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Meadowlark IPA.
If your dad is a fan of mouth-puckering sour beers, it’s likely he will also appreciate the funky flavors of stronger cheeses. And that’s extra good news on the pairing front — the two are fabulous together. But choosing which flavorful curd to pair with a specific sour beer requires a little knowledge of how intense the brew is (or a copy of our ultimate pairings guide, Cheese+, which has an entire article dedicated to sour beer and cheese pairings). Here’s a fast primer for the time being: for entry-level sours like Berliner Weisse, stick with cow’s milk brie styles, pair washed rinds (like the cheese pictured above) with Brett beer, and as for dry and ultra-fizzy Gueuze, seek out equally intense pungent blues.
Dark and Stormy
Even when the mercury rises, some folks simply refuse to give up their hearty dark beers. If this sounds like your dad, don’t worry — stouts, porters, and the like are perfect pairs for cheese. Seek out curds packed with strong flavor to ensure they can stand up to the roasted, heavy notes of a dark brew. Stouts typically do well with blue (pictured above). If you’re looking for a truly phenomenal pair, try a slice of mushroom-y Truffle Tremor alongside Berryessa Brewing Co.‘s malty Baltic Porter. As beer blogger Winton White, a.k.a. Beerichi Tuba, put it: “The pairing was a big O-M-G.”
Are you celebrating Father’s Day with beer and cheese? Share your spectacular pairings below!Photo Credit: Featured image of Glass of freshness beer with foam near cheese on gray canvas background by cosma via shutterstock