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. Beer and cheese pairings are harder to find than wine and cheese since it is a less popular combo, but at Carnivore Club, we think that beer and cheese are the perfect appetizer and drink pairing for backyard barbeques, pool parties, and other summer activities.
There are a few key considerations when selecting beer and cheese for a summer event. You will want a light beer 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, like these, tend to be heavier.
Here are our go-to summertime beer and cheese pairings:
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 is the perfect contrast to a hoppy beer.
Pilsner and Blue Cheese. A light, acidic pilsner like Lagunas Pils is another great summer choice. The acidity means that you can pair it with a stronger cheese like a blue. Together these two will pack a punch of flavor you can’t find in most beer and cheese pairings.
Fruity IPA and Mozzarella. A fruity IPA like Creature Comforts Tropicália pairs well with fatty cheese like mozzarella. The passion fruit and citrus flavor easily cut through a fattier cheese for a nice refreshing summer feeling.
Citrus IPA and Cheddar. The bitter hops in a citrus IPA 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.
Save your favorite wine and cheese pairings for the fall. For your next summer event, consider ditching the wine in favor of a nice beer and cheese spread. A cold beer is more refreshing than a glass of wine on a hot day, and when paired with the right cheese it is sure to be a hit!