Cheers to Fall: Beer Pairings for the Season
Beer lovers: raise a stein!
We can’t deny it: fall has arrived and the days grow shorter. But we take comfort in the return of certain flavors and textures that come with the change in season. As the temperatures drop, we find ourselves consciously adding more cheese to our diet. And while we’re at it, we’ll be taking the opportunity to pair some of those cheeses with seasonal beers. Or make it easy, combine both, and go for a beer washed cheese. They can be rich, creamy, stinky, boozy and make pairing a breeze – just pair with whatever they’re washed in. And because you might want a little something extra to go with your cheese and beer, we’ve got you covered with some carefully chosen beer snacks. So make yourself cozy, open some bottles and cans, and toast to fall.
A riff on the popular Blu di Bufala from Quattro Portoni, Surfin’ Blu is soaked in robust imperial IPA. The beer, called Surfing Hop, is made by a local Lombardian craft brewery and is packed with citrusy American hops. The floral, citrus, and bitter beer flavors enhance the creamy blue’s rich sweetness that comes from the use of buffalo milk.
This is an aromatic flavor bomb of a cheese – an experiment that paid off. Serve with a hop forward imperial IPA, with plenty of Prosciutto San Daniele and Pear Mostarda nearby. 1/9 lb
This new cheese is for those that don’t just want a hint of hops or a touch of malt – they want full beer flavor front and center. Margot blonde ale is incorporated into the semi-soft cheese’s paste and then washed on the rind as it ages. As such, the cheese takes on pleasant malty, tangy flavors that will delight beer lovers.
The base cheese is based on a traditional Biellese wheel made with milk from the Pezzata Rossa (Red Cow). Head cheesemaker Enrico knew that the cheese’s sweetness would stand up well to the maltiness of the ale. The sweet, approachable flavors and smooth texture will appeal to cheese lovers both novice and experienced. To echo the flavors of the cheese, pair with a blonde ale or try a Saison to add some spice and complexity. We recommend making a grilled cheese with crusty bread, thick slices of Margot, and a good helping of Casa Forcello® Red Onion Confiture. 2/4 lb
This is not your average beer washed cheese. As with all of their cheeses, Le Fattorie Fiandino’s Frumage L’Ottavio is made with raw cow’s milk and thistle rennet. However, the cheesemakers take this semi-soft toma further with the addition of both beer and malt into the curd. To further bring out aromas of coffee, chocolate, and roasted barley, they wash the cheese in malt and brown ale up to five times as it ages.
The creamy paste is dotted with flecks of malt and the natural rind is textured and brown. The most compelling thing about this cheese is its complexity and individuality. Beer flavors are present, but with a vast array of other aromas and notes of almond and dried fruit. Serve alongside a plate of roasted mushrooms and a glass of Belgian-style Dubbel and drift into autumnal bliss. 2/3 lb
Ubriaco alla Birra Rossa
Sergio Moro is known for his Ubriaco cheeses, which he soaks in various types of traditional wines from the Veneto. After initial success using local wines, he then experimented with beer, using a malty red ale brewed by his friend. It didn’t take long for it to become a new classic.
We love that the cow’s milk cheese he soaks is already full of flavor – the beer doesn’t mask what’s already a great cheese, but brings out certain nuances that would otherwise be undetected. Like the other Ubriaco cheeses, it’s aged a minimum of 100 days, including a month of soaking. It develops a pliant, doughy paste with notes of toasted malt and fruit. As the weather cools, break out a chunk and eat with pickles and Culatello. It’s an ideal fall cheese that’s best accompanied by an American amber ale. 1/15 lb
Pairing Beyond Cheese
After you’ve worked your way through as many cheese and beer pairings as you can, switch gears with some of our other products, thoughtfully paired with more beer (but of course).
Strong, dark, chocolatey stout and chocolate covered, cocoa-dusted Largueta almonds. We are so on board. This is the ideal fall dessert, with the smooth, creamy beer playing off the crunchiness of the almonds. Not super sweet, just luxurious, velvety, and satisfying.
You don’t want to overpower the delicate, complex flavor of the acorn-fed jamón, so a crisp, light, refreshing pilsner is a great choice. It also acts as a palate cleanser between bites. Serve it very cold to best appreciate the sweetness of the Ibérico fat.
We’re not above eating and drinking pumpkin everything for fall, and a pumpkin beer with pumpkin pie spices would be especially tasty with our caramelized pecans. They are crunchy and buttery with rich molasses flavor, and the flavor of the nut really shines. The two together are like a pumpkin/pecan pie hybrid. We’ll be savoring these two right up until 2019.
Let’s be honest, Mitica® Taralli just taste better with any kind of cold beverage, but the malty, bread-like notes in a traditional Oktoberfest beer are a great pair for our Taralli Peperoncino, dotted with red chili pepper. The beer tempers the traditional crackers’ spiciness and – just a warning – makes it easy to polish off the whole bag.
Our new Marcona Almonds with Orange and Ginger call for something fruity and acidic, like a nice cranberry sour with wild yeast. They make an extremely elegant bar snack and their light sweetness would be a great pair with a funky sour. Delightful and unexpected.