The Trifecta: Beer, Cheese & Girls!!!

26 Nov

Behold, the bounty of beer & cheese that brought 5 girls together on a rainy Monday night in Brooklyn!!!

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In the spring I hosted a Girl’s Dinner at my friend’s place while I was house-sitting for them, and decided that the beginning of fall was another perfect opportunity to do it again!  This time though, given my new-found blogging & beer obsession, my age-old love of cheese, and my desire to bring more girls into the beer-loving fold, I decided to do a beer & cheese pairing/sampling, to be followed by some yummy fall-themed dishes!

Even though I’ve certainly eaten cheese alongside beer many, many times (um… like weekly, at the BT?? lol), I’d never set out to strategically pair them before, so I turned to this lovely article from Beer Advocate for guidance!  Here’s how they spelled it out for me…


  • Feta and Goat Cheese work well with Wheat Beers, typically the more pungent the cheese the more of a full character you want in your Wheat Beer. Weihenstephan Hefe-Weizen, Schneider Hefe-Weizen and UFO Hefeweizen are suitable pairings.
  • Mascarpone, a cow’s cream formless cheese that is used in desserts and sauces, pairs great with most Fruit Beers. Magic Hat #9, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, Melbourne Bros. Apricot or Strawberry.
  • American Cheese, Muenster, Havarti and Monterey Jack with moderately hoppy Pilsners like Harpoon Pilsner, Radeberger and Stella Artios.
  • Colby, Gloucester and Cheddar with robust Brown Ales. Sam Smith Nut Brown, Shipyard Brown or Brooklyn Brown will suffice quite well.
  • Gorgonzola and Creamy Blues meld well with Barleywines. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Fuller’s Vintage Ale, Rouge Old Crustacean and Brooklyn Monster make for a great duo.
  • Roquefort and Stilton have a strong pungent character so there is need for a Strong Belgian Ales like Lucifer, Duvel, Chimay Blue, Northcoast Pranqster, and Unibroue Don de Dieu.
  • Gruyére, Emmental and Swiss with Bock Beer, Dark Lagers or Oktoberfest Beer. Their sizable maltiness plays well against the meaty nut-like character. Sam Adams Octoberfest or Double Bock, Harpoon Octoberfest or Munich Dark, Salavator, Celebrator and Dornbusch Bock are appropriate picks.
  • Parmesan or Romano with moderately hoppy Pale Ales and Amber Ales like Harpoon Ale, Stone Cat Ale, Ipswich Ale, Shoal’s Pale Ale, Magic Hat Bob’s 1st Ale.
  • I tend to be great at coming up with ideas, a little haphazard with planning, and usually the recipient of a boat-load of luck in the execution!  For this dinner, since I was house-sitting in Brooklyn & had the use of a car, I decided to do all my shopping at Fairway in Red Hook, and therefore was 100% at the whims of whatever beer & cheese they had on the shelves at that time!  So, I started with the beers they had available & then purchased cheeses accordingly… and, I gotta say, I think we ended up with a helluva tasting!  Here we go 🙂

    Southern Tier Cherry Saison w/ Mascarpone

    The Saison’s tart cherry flavor was amazing with the slightly sweet & smooth mascarpone!

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    Ommegang Witt w/ Feta

    The saltiness of the feta went REALLY well with the starchiness of the Ommegang… this was one of my favorite pairings!

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    Brooklyn Local 1 w/ a Creamy Blue

    I was hoping to find a bottle of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale to pair with this… but in a pinch we decided to use the Brooklyn Local 1 and while it wasn’t a ‘natural partner’, the pairing definitely worked… for those of us who love stinky cheeses!

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    Troegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale w/ VT Cheddar

    This was a very simple, satisfying and ‘friendly’ pairing… one that pretty much everyone could get on board with!

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    Rogue Chipotle Ale w/ Parmesan

    This was probably the most unique pairing, just because of the Chipotle flavor!
    The dry, saltiness of the parmesan really was a nice backdrop for the chipotle flavor from the Rogue beer…
    Katie, with her love of parmesan cheese couldn’t get enough of this pairing!

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    Troegenator Double Bock w/ Emmental (swiss!)

    This was another more approachable pairing, and the strength of the cheese really stood up to the Double Bock and it’s 8.2% abv!
    Troegs has a really cool description of this beer and some background on the Double Bock style in general!  Check it out here!

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    The girls I had over are not “beer drinkers”… some of them, in fact, really aren’t partial to beer in general, but everyone came with a great attitude & was super willing to try everything!  Each gal had her favorite of course, but overall everyone really had FUN trying the different beers, & noticing truly how the beer brought out different flavors in the cheeses!

    In case you’re curious about the fall-themed menu that followed the beer & cheese pairing… I made a butternut squash bisque, and some fancy grilled cheese sandwiches on crusty bread with various filling options (think brie w/ green apple, & cheddar w/ bacon & tomato!), roasted brussels sprouts and a pear & apple crisp, served with vanilla ice cream!   Yup, I’m daaaaaamn good! 🙂

    Anyone got any great beer/cheese pairings to recommend?!?

    5 Responses to “The Trifecta: Beer, Cheese & Girls!!!”

    1. Carolina November 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM #

      home/made on van brunt street in Bklyn has upcoming beer+cheese events/classes you might like. their cheese is fab.

      • thehopshoney November 29, 2009 at 4:00 PM #

        Thanks for the cheese tip!! YUM!

    2. Scott-TheBrewClub December 20, 2009 at 12:37 AM #

      Not much of a cheese fan myself, but those sound like some very interesting parings and a really good time! (Great way to introduce people to beer too!)

      • thehopshoney December 22, 2009 at 4:20 PM #

        It was a great way to get my cheese-loving friends to try some great beer… in January we’re going to do a dessert & beer pairing night! YUM!

    3. Scott-TheBrewClub December 22, 2009 at 7:35 PM #

      Now THAT’s a good time! Looking forward to the post on that meetup t see what you come up with!

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