Beer and Cheese are Sure to Please

Thursday, December 3, 2015 | 7:36 pm

Beer can add a lot of cheer to your next holiday party – or any gathering for that matter. But beer doesn’t usually sit well on an empty stomach, learn the art of beer and cheese pairing from the pros at Stone Brewing Company’s Beer U.

The class was led by Ryan Ludwick, a certified Cicerone (a distinction equivalent to sommelier), he gave guests a crash course on beer and cheese pairings. The class included cheese from The Bea’s Knees in the Shoppes at Stats and Milkfarm in Eagle Rock.


“Beer has a wider flavor spectrum and can be superior when paired with cheeses – both are fermented and have many tasting notes and flavor profiles,” said Ludwick.

Ludwick outlined the three main things to consider when pairing beer and cheese. First look to match the intensity or body of the food and beer. He suggests pairing IPAs with goat cheese to capitalize on earthy, herbaceous flavors and using sweeter beers to offset salty foods.

“You wouldn’t eat a salad with a stout,” said Ludwick. He suggests pairing IPAs and hoppier beers with saltier foods such as the Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0 paired with Beecher’s Flagship cheddar gruyere blend.


The second thing to consider is the commonalities and resonance of flavors. For instance, Ludwick paired Stone Coffee Milk Stout with Beehive Cheese Co. Barley Buzzed because the cheese had a lavender espresso rub. The Coffee Milk Stout accentuated the espresso in the cheese and also brought out the lavender notes.

The last thing to consider is the counterpoint or juxtaposition of food and beer. Ludwick explains that the carbonation of beer can cut through fat and that hoppy beers intensify spice. He paired the full-bodied Stout w00tsout 2.0 with Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam. The chocolatey beer complimented the buttery cheese and made for a flavorfully intense pairing.

But, in the end, “there are no rights or wrongs. Everyone has a different palate,” said Ludwick. We’ll, cheers to that.


For more Beer U classes visit Stone Company Store at 220 South Raymond Avenue, Suite 103 Pasadena. Call (626) 440-7243 or visit for upcoming classes.



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