Beer & Cheese: The Art Of Pairing

Aug 7, 2018

Beer and cheese.

OK, now that we have your attention — we know you likely have enjoyed some delicious Wisconsin cheese with your favorite cold one. But have you ever paired them intentionally to bring out the best qualities in each?

Probably not. But this month’s Milwaukee Magazine’s cover story, The Milwaukee Guide to Beer and Cheese, suggests which cheeses and beers best compliment each other.

"It’s finding new things that emerge. It’s not just that this tastes good and this tastes good and then they taste good together. It’s that you have the chemistry of flavor and tasting that creates an entirely new thing," says Chris Drosner, Milwaukee Magazine editor and article co-author.

Drosner and Ann Christenson, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic and senior editor, joined Lake Effect’s Audrey Nowakowski to share their thoughts on combinations worth trying for yourself:

"Beers that are being made and really put out into the market more widely, it's exposing people to new flavors and it's giving us kind of a broader palate of flavors to match up with food. Dinners, that sort of thing, and cheese is a natural fit for that, too," notes Drosner.

Christenson adds that a solid pairing of beer and cheese brings out all the right qualities in each while complimenting each other at the same time. Here are their favorites:

"Strong on Strong" - Paradocs Red imperial IPA from Raised Grain Brewing in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with Dunbarton blue cheese from Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg, Wisconsin.

"[The beer] is really assertive, it's an IPA, it's bold and it's brash. And that cheese is bold and brash and funky and salty. In many ways it has the volume of all of the things that it does turned up to 11 and Paradocs is kind of the same way, and it worked great," says Drosner.

"The Reversal" - Serendipity fruit ale from New Glarus Brewing in New Glarus, Wisconsin, paired with burrata cheese from BelGioioso Cheese in Denmark/Green Bay, Wisconsin.

"To me, Serendipity on its own is tart, but it's rich and sweet. It seems like a dessert beer to me, but I love that burrata we pair it with so much because it's just an incredibly rich, creamy cheese," says Christenson. "It just really is so beautifully pure that it works so interestingly with that beer."