For a complimentary beer, porters and stouts are a great choice. Their richness and body evens out the punch of the Bleu d’Auvergne. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, try a cider! Even a very dry cider will work well to bring out a bit of sweetness much like a jam does to a blue or goat’s cheese.
Wheat beer, Weisse, Hefeweizen, Witbier. Call it what you want, but a gentle wheat beer is a fantastic choice with Brie. A more adventurous, contrasting choice would be a Saison or Farmhouse Ale as they tend to be spicier with floral notes. Because these beers rely on their spices as opposed to hops, they’re a nice reprieve from the general “hoppiness” that is common in today’s trendy American IPAs and can range anywhere from bright to sour.
Produced in Normandy and aged for four weeks, Camembert’s mushroomy, earthy flavors go well with a Saison or Wheat beer. With the subtle sweetness of Camembert, these sweeter beers bring about a savory lightness. The fine bubbles of something like a Hefeweizen will cut through the bubbles cut through the silky texture of Camembert, making it an awesome palate cleanser. You’ll feel light and clean. Like showering your mouth in heaven.
With Alpine cheeses it’s easy to go two ways: complementary or contrasting. For something complimentary, try a more mellow beer like a light Lager, a Blonde Ale, or a Pilsner. For a richer, contrasting beer experiment with beers like Bock, Oktoberfest, and Porters.
While the flavor of Emmental can vary with age and season, Lagers and Kolsch are always a great bet. From crisp Lagers and pale pilsners to the more malted flavors of Kolsch, it’s best to pick approachable and mellow beers to emphasize the gentle sweetness.
Creamy and smooth with its strong washed rind, Époisses pairs perfectly with a Double IPA or Stout. Like a stronger blue cheese, it’s important to remember that if you don’t pick a strong beer, the Époisses will overpower it! A classic choice would be the monastic route: Belgian Ale. Bière de Garde also makes for an interesting, authentically French choice.
Fourme d’Ambert predates Caesar’s conquest. A legendary blue cheese, Fourme d’Ambert is known for its cylindrical shape and dreamy pockets of blue. The paste is semi-soft with tart chocolatey notes, pairing perfectly with the sweeter Stout or Belgian Ale for a massive burst of flavor.
Originating in Pas-de-Calais, France, Mimolette’s salty umami flavor pairs magnificently with the strong chocolate notes of porters and stouts. The deep roasted malts of most darker beers have a caramelized effect that, when challenged by the Mimolette’s bright, sweet, salty flavors, make a great pairing. For a different twist try a Belgian Ale or a Bock.
Buttery and savory, its pungent aroma is much stronger than its mild taste. An Amber or Brown Ale will make for a consistently delicious choice to balance taste and texture. If you’re a well seasoned Pont-l’Évêque lover, however, you might find a lighter IPA or Stout to be a better match.
There are lots of fun, interesting ways to play against the rich, buttery texture of something like Triple Crème. An effervescent, sour beer will cut through this beautifully engineered cream dream such as a Farmhouse Ale, Saison, or Lambic. Of course, sours are a safe choice, but if you want a more caramel-like cheesecake effect, go for Bière de Garde.