Beer and Cheese Pairing
No holiday gathering is complete without a cheese plate. But how do you decide how many cheeses to provide, which to choose, and how much you need total? Here are some guidelines on assembling the perfect holiday cheese plate.
Get the right amount of cheese
You can estimate 3 - 4 ounces of cheese per person at your gathering. This means that a group of 10 people would need a total of about 2 pounds of cheese. You’ll divide this between the various cheeses you choose to serve.
Another good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 cheeses for your spread, but to increase that number by 1 cheese for every 3 guests. You don’t want to overwhelm your tasters though, so you may want to cap this number at 6 or 7 options total. This means that for that group of 10, you’ll want 5 cheeses.
Recently, beer blogger Winton White, a.k.a. Beerichi Tuba, and I decided to get a little experimental with beer and cheese pairing. Cypress Grove Chèvre, whose famed Humboldt Fog is celebrating 20 years, kindly supplied us with some amazing cheeses, and City Beer Store in San Francisco offered to host the tasting. We were joined by my longtime photography buddy, Gavin Farrington, and got to work. Beer and cheese at noon, that’s not so bad, is it? Here’s what we found:
The Cheese: This ultra-mellow sheep milk gouda is made in Holland especially for Cypress Grove. It is slightly buttery, with some light pear or apple notes, with a smooth, long finish.
My housemate and I were preparing for a big weekend party last Friday when my first Birth of A Cheese 2012 sample package arrived. Once the cheeses reached room temperature, I set about sniffing, tasting and analyzing while other fellas laid bricks, built flower beds, and mowed the backyard. Perfect timing, I thought. This all happened in a Chicago Bungalow that also serves as headquarters for Cheese and Cheers, a blog that I .. er.. maintain at www.cheeseandcheers.com. The blog’s subject matter is all things near the intersection of cheese and beer, and my name is Dave Phillips.