Pairing beer and cheese

I love being asked unexpected questions about pairing beer and food, so when I got a request from a distributor to put together some pairings for a segment on a local TV station (ABC 33/40) I jumped at the challenge:

The request
Cheese pairings for

  • Straight to Ale Lily Flagg (milk stout)
  • Straight to Ale Intimidator (doppelbock)
  • Straight to Ale Laika (Russian imperial stout)
  • Straight to Ale Vern’s Wheat Wine
  • Good People’s IPA
  • Good People Brown
  • Good People Snake Handler (double IPA)
  • Blue Pants Wee Heavy (Scotch Ale)
  • Blue Pants Black IPA
  • Yellowhammer Quadrupel (Belgian style)
  • Yellowhammer Chardonnay Aged Saison

My suggestions

  • IPAs pair well with Havarti, Gouda, or Brie without rind
  • Saisons are very flexible, but don’t go well with blue cheese
  • Doppelbocks pair nicely with smoked cheese
  • Belgian-style goes with anything

Then came a more challenging question:

What would you put with cream cheese and pepper jelly?

After some consideration of the various flavors and textures I suggested a stout, barleywine, or Vern (wheat wine).

I don’t know if they actually tried these combinations – the aired segment did not show anyone testing it, but I find it hard to believe all those tasty beers and cheeses would be set up and then just thrown away…

If you’d like to see the segment, it’s still online at

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