Whilst wine and cheese maybe a match made in heaven, if you really want to pay homage to your fromage, why not give ale and cheese a go? The rich hoppiness of a decent beer matched with a proper farmhouse cheese, all made on this fair isle…. What more could you wish for?
Here are a few suggestions of matches we think work, although we are always on the look out for new combinations. Have a try and tell us what you think (we stock all these cheeses and more!).
Bermondsey and Kernel Simcoe IPA
The Bermondsey is a pretty unique cheese, being that it is actually made in Bermondsey. A smooth, cow’s, alpine style, with a rich salty taste, this cheese fair packs a punch. Therefore, it needs something equally robust to match up to. I’ve paired it with an IPA from the Kernel Brewery London. The Simcoe IPA (7.2% ABV), has the strength to go toe to toe with the Bermondsey, and is one to be enjoyed moderately rather than in great quantities. This citrusy ale has a nice amber colour to it, and despite its strength has a lighter body to cut through the salted nature of the Bermondsey.
Lincolnshire Poacher and Tom Woods Bomber County
Two Lincolnshire classics make a classic combination indeed. Lincolnshire Poacher cheese has sweet and nutty notes with a good sharp tang and a nice rich long lasting after taste. The nuttiness of this Lincolnshire cheese works wonderfully with this clear, dark red ale which has a fair amount of nuttiness on the palate too. The roasted bitterness on the tongue of the Tom Woods Bomber County (4.8% ABV) matches well with the almost pineapple tang of the Poacher. This is a highly quaffable yet subtle ale, with a good, thick head and earthy hoppiness, and enough character to play alongside this easily nibbled cheese.
Mrs Bells Ewe’s Blue and Black Sheep Riggwelter
Now I’m not going to lie, what first attracted me to this combination was the idea of two Yorkshire Dales’ sheep in the same mouthful, but actually it works quite nicely. Mrs Bell’s Blue is a sweet and tangy cheese, milder than a Roquefort, but with enough meadow sweetness to please any a cheese lover. The Riggwelter (5.7% ABV) is a nice malted ale, with a lovely ruby brown colour. The toasty notes and dried fruit flavours (think prunes and currants) go beautifully with the sweetness of the creamy textured ewe’s cheese.
Isle of Mull and Brew Dog Punk IPA
Isle of Mull is one of the strongest Cheddars on the market, with a good bite, a lovely firm yet creamy texture and a pale ivory colour. Its sharp, fruity tang is thanks to the unusual diet of the cows that eat the fermented grain from the nearby Tobermory whisky distillery. This rich cheese works beautifully with the easy drinking Brewdog Punk IPA (5.6% ABV). It’s a hazy, golden beer, with a flowery yet dry palate. The grapefruit notes are enough to cut through the strength of the Mull. Arguably one of the best, or at least most popular, IPAs on the market, Brewdog Punk needs an equally good quality and popular cheese to match. Without a doubt the Isle of Mull can live up to this.