by Arvid Bergström Beer sommelier and author
Beer with goat's cheeseUnusual pairings to try this Spring
With warmer days, longer evenings and fantastic fresh produce, Spring is the ultimate season for good food! This week we’re talking about goat’s cheese. It’s perfect for the season and is delicious when paired with the right matching beers, so scroll down for some seasonal meal ideas.
Why goat’s cheese?
Goat’s cheese is intense, powerful and creamy. It fits well with a lot of different kinds of beer, like saison, tripel or blond, but also with a porter, geuze or Brettanomyces beer (Orval or Rebel Strop, for instance).
One of the best things about goat’s cheese is that it’s made from goat's milk, which contains less lactose than cow's milk. This means it’s easier to digest than cow cheese, and people with a lactose intolerance can often enjoy it, too. Goat’s cheese ripens very quickly; after a month it tastes like an old cheese made from cow's milk. It’s lower in fat, but certainly more intense in its taste. And, last but not least, goat’s cheese contains copper, which together with iron helps the immune system.
Which beers should you drink with goat's cheese?
This depends entirely on the type of cheese and what you do with it! Cheeses tend to be creamy and intense, and often leave a greasy film in the mouth and on the tongue. The carbon dioxide from the beer rinses the mouth clean after a bite, and the alcohol cuts through the cheese fat. Each sip allows you to start afresh with the next piece of cheese.
Above all, goat’s cheese is delicious with a slightly sharp taste. This means it goes best with beers that have a soft taste and aren’t too bitter; so when selecting an accompaniment, go for softer, sweeter or sour beers.
Hard and soft combinations
Line up a few pieces of hard goat’s cheese and try dipping them in honey or beer syrup. This is a great coffee table snack for lounging in front of the TV. The beer that fits well here is a tripel: for example Karmeliet or Zatte from Brouwerij 't IJ, which comes from Amsterdam.
Soft, creamy goat’s cheese is a different story. It can be finely spread on a piece of toast and combined with a Saison, for example Datisandere Koekoek from Bird Brewery or Saison Dupont.
If you're having a party, a goat's cheese quiche is always a good option to serve to your guests. You can make the quiche the day before, and serve Bullebak from De Eeuwige Jeugd. This is a tasty, quiet triple with a low carbon dioxide content.
For a festive starter, you could also fill dates with soft goat's cheese. These taste amazing with Texels Wit. If you want to take it to the next level, you can wrap the date with bacon. Then serve St. Feuillien Grand Cru.
For a real treat, serve lamb chops in oil and garlic with just a few minutes in the frying pan. Then you can serve a nice saison, such as Thierry Sauvage from Kompaan, or for a fruity blonde, try Troubadour Blond.
An easy meal
Finally, for a delicious and super easy meal, make pancakes filled with goat's cheese. These match with the Donker Wit from Dutch brewer Gebrouwen Door Vrouwen. The pancake is a perfect pairing for the slightly sour taste of the wheat in this Weizen.
Get the recipes and their beer pairings below: