Chimay Blue and Cheese matching at Tassie Beerfest

 Kris: Our friend, Miro, brought down a jeroboam (3 litre bottle) of Chimay Grande Reserve to share on the final night of Tasmanian BeerFest (Cheers Miro!). We decided to hit the Salamanca Markets in search of some cheese that could handle this classic Trappist Ale.

 Chimay Grande Reserve is an iconic beer and a fine example of a Belgian Strong Ale. It is a rich, malty beer with flavours and aromas of figs, caramel and dried fruit. It also weighs in at 9%, so a 3 litre serve is probably best shared with friends (especially after a day at a beer festival). Best served in a Belgian tulip style glass at 8-10C.

I thought we would experiment with matching 2 Tasmanian cheeses with the beer:

Grandvewe Sapphire Blue
Oen from Bruny Island Cheesery

 Grandvewe  Sapphire Blue, an organic sheep’s milk blue, didn’t quite match the intensity of the Chimay. It was still pretty tasty, rich and creamy with a subtle hit of blue mould. I think a bigger blue, such as a Roquefort would stand up to it.

Our second cheese was a perfect match for the beer. It was Oen from Bruny Island Cheesery. Oen is a great washed rind cheese wrapped and aged in vine leaves. It was rich and funky and tasted great with the Chimay Blue. Success!!


International Beers Matched with Australian Cheese

Thought cheese matching was just for wine? Well, think again!

Tonight we had 4 Australian cheeses with quince paste and tasted/matched them with 4 international beers.
The cheese were (clockwise starting from back left):

Lochelien Brie from  Victoria

Grandvewe Sapphire Blue from Tasmania

Woodside Edith Ashed Goats Cheese from South Australia

Pyengana Cloth Bound Cheddar from Tasmania

I matched the Brie with Emmerson’s Pilsner from New Zealand. I love the aroma of the New Zealand hops in this beer.The dryness and citrus flavour of the beer cuts through the richness of this creamy, french style brie.

Tripel Karmeliet is a perfect match for the Woodside ashed goats cheese. Hefeweizens also pair really well with goats cheese, particularly Chevre.

The salty, nutty flavour of the aged Pyengana cloth bound cheddar goes really well with a malty English Pale Ale. Timothy Taylors is one of my favourites.

Finally Rochefort 8 with Grandvewe Sapphire Blue. The cheese is a ripe, creamy blue made from organic sheeps milk. It needs a big beer to match it’s rich flavour. These two are a match made in heaven.

Beer is an extremely versatile match with food and particularly cheese. There really is no right or wrong. Part of the fun is experimenting and finding out what works and what doesn’t.

Below is a general guide to get you started:

Marscapone/Creme Fraiche with Fruit Beers

Goats/Fetta with Wheat Beers

Havarti/Colby with Pilseners

Brie/Camembert with Dry Lagers

Aged Cheddar with malty Pale Ales and Brown Ales

Blue Cheese with Strong, dark Belgian beers and Barleywines

Parmesan with Stout or super hoppy Pale Ales and Amber Ales