DAIRY FARMERS OF WISCONSIN has offered ideas on how to pair a few good cheeses with some beer styles that fit the Oktoberfest season. We added some local suggestions on the beer front. Grab a few of these pairings and enjoy.
Butterkäse + Gathering Place Brewing Treffpunkt Kölsch-Style Ale
Butterkäse is mild and buttery with a creamy texture. It pairs nicely with this crisp Kölsch that features a slight hint of hops. Plus, Treffpunkt has a low 4.6% ABV, so you can use it to wash down plenty of cheese.
“(Kölsch is) ideal for cutting through the richness of butterkäse so your taste buds can reset between bites of buttery goodness,” says Ken Monteleone, owner of Fromagination cheese shop in Madison.
Limburger + Explorium Baracus Quad Belgian Quadrupel
The pungent Limburger is not for the timid, but converts are big fans of the potent cheese. It has Belgian roots, which makes a strong Belgian ale appropriate.
“Belgian ales come in a variety of different types, but they are almost all moderate to high in alcohol content and are known to be on the sweet and malty side,” says Molly Browne, Education Manager at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “Some sweetness is just what you need to match the intensity of limburger.”
Baracus, which carries a potent 10.3% ABV, fits the bill and isn’t short on flavor. Pair these two when you’re feeling decadent.
Brick + Biloba Brewing Hefeweizen
According to the Dairy Famers of Wisconsin, this cheese was the creation of John Jossi, a cheesemaker who wanted a drier, less pungent version of Limburger. It’s mild but nutty and works well with the straightforward banana and clove flavor combination found in a good hefeweizen.
“This type of beer uses different yeasts than contemporary American wheat beers, resulting in a fruitier flavor that can match up with brick’s strong character,” says Monteleone.
Alpine-Style + Lakefront Brewery Oktoberfest
Dodgeville’s Uplands Cheese produces Pleasant Ridge Reserve, the most awarded cheese in American history. This alpine-style cheese is complex and offers a rich, salty flavor with a fruity finish. This big flavor nicely compliments the caramel malt flavor of Lakefront’s Märzen-style lager.
Cheese Curds + Good City Brewing Home Lager
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin didn’t offer up this pairing, but we thought it was a good addition for the budding cheese aficionado. Milwaukee’s Clock Shadow Creamery makes some squeaky good curds. These creamy and slightly salty gems are a perfect companion to a light and crisp lager, and Good City makes a tasty one.