Toast caught up with Fraser McInnes from Tuatara Brewing on Wellington's Kapiti Coast to find out his top tips for pairing two of our favourite things: cheese and beer
It may come as no surprise to you that beer and cheese are a match made in taste bud heaven. Cheese in all its salty, fatty, more-ish glory and beer in all its fresh, fizzy, alcoholic glory come together in perfect harmony no matter what the season, the brew or the cheese.
But are there any rules in this delicious game of pairing?
Tuatara Brewing Co are about much more than just creating delicious, beautifully crafted beer – they've been busy working on matching beer with a wide range of foods to help New Zealanders understand and be excited and challenged by what their taste buds can experience. Toast was lucky enough to have a chat with Fraser McInnes, host of Tuatara Brewing's Tasting Experience, to get the inside scoop on beer and cheese:
We hear a lot about wine and cheese but beer and cheese – what’s the appeal?
It’s a simple truism that beer + cheese = delicious (add some good bread and you have a culinary holy trinity). When eating cheese and beer together the fat coats the tongue and gives us the perception of richness and flavour which is heightened by the salt. Hops cut through the fat perfectly and the carbonation from beer leaves the mouth fresh, lifting the fat from the tongue which helps to meld together the beer and cheese perfectly. A perfect match.
There are so many cheese and brews out there to choose from – off the top of your head, what would your top beer and cheese matches be?
Tuatara Helles Lager with a creamy brie such as Kapiti Brie
Tuatara Ardennes with a washed-rind cheese such as Kapiti Ramara
Tuatara Sauvinova with a cheddar such as Tuteremoana Cheddar
Tuatara Tiramisu Oatmeal Stout with creamy blue such as Kapiti Kahurangi Blue Cheese.
What are the biggest no-no's with beer and cheese matching?
There aren’t really specifics no’s, as such, but you do need to be careful to match strengths and flavours of beers and cheese e.g. you wouldn’t want to wash out a delicate cheese with a strong stout.
The biggest yes’s?
Beer and cheese as a whole is a yes in itself – there’s a natural affinity between the two. I think beer and cheese pairing is really taking off. Hoppy beers like the Tuatara NUI Mighty Big Hop APA work beautifully with big, strong cheeses so that’s always a good place to start. I also find that smoky cheeses are a great match for smokier dark brews.
What’s your personal favourite beer and cheese match?
I love a Belgian beer such as Tuatara Dubbel with a bitey blue such as Kapiti Awa Blue Cheese.
Check out more on Tuatara Brewing's Tasting Experience here: http://www.tuatarabrewing.co.nz/tasting-experience