Rowcliffe’s Paul Heasman is a leading cheese expert who knows more than a thing or two about this much-loved food. For this guide, he’s hand-picked five quality artisan cheese varieties that pair perfectly with delicious craft beers and ciders, and these pairings will definitely bring some extra joy to the Spring and Summer months.
Cheese has traditionally been paired with wine rather than other alcoholic drinks, but Paul Heasman believes that the varied and delicate flavours of many kinds of cheese are more suited and pair better with the ever-expanding range of craft beer and ciders.
Below is a range of delicious leading cheeses and hand-picked craft beers, and ciders that offer the perfect pairing that enhances and complements these diverse flavours.
This leading cheddar offers notes of citrus, hazelnut and caramel and is the perfect complement to a variety of beers and ciders due to its bold, complex flavours ranging from savoury to citrus sweet Paul has chosen two drinks that offer the perfect pairing.
Jake Kentish Cider: This delicious cider is made using the finest Kentish dessert apples. It is treated like a sparkling wine as each apple variety is fermented separately using wine yeasts and offers a clean taste.
Buttcombe Rare Breed Pale Ale: This is a distinctive, clean-tasting pale ale with a smooth, citrus twist. A bold, standout beer that’s one of a kind and perfect with cheddar.
This unique Semi-soft cheese with a horizontal line of vegetal ash through the centre offers a unique taste. With naturally occurring moulds on the surface, smooth and elastic texture, and notes of hazelnut and rich umami flavour, it works perfectly with various malt, hop, and full-flavour beers. Paul has recommended enjoying this cheese with the following.
Timothy Taylors Pale Ale: This pale ale offers a complex, citrus and hoppy aroma and a full long flavour with a hint of sweetness.
Fullers Porter: This Rich, dark and complex beer with chocolate notes and a malt finish is delicious with the delicious cheese.
A hard ewe’s milk cheese matured for a minimum of 6 months, it is fruity with caramel and nutty flavours and works perfectly with lighter beers to complement and not overpower the sweet, nutty nature of Manchego. Paul would recommend these two firm favourites.
Jakes IPA: A blend of three Kent hops with smooth, nutty flavour developed by four malts that blend into a light-bodied bitterness. The dark amber hue sits under a delicate, creamy head.
Estrella Galicia Lager: This is a bright golden beer produced from a selection of malts and especially bitter hops and provides this beer with a pleasant and characteristic hoppy flavour.
Brie de Meaux PDO
This delicious cheese is made from raw cow’s milk and matured for 5-6 weeks. It is rich, sweet, and buttery and offers mushrooms, truffles and almonds flavours. It is perfect with a fresh beer or cider with enough flavour to enhance the creamy back note of the Brie and its earthy undertones. Either of the following offers the perfect pairing for this soft cheese.
Galipette Cider: This dry to medium cider perfectly balances acidity, tannins and sweetness. It is produced with apples from traditional orchards near the river Rance in Brittany.
Jakes Lager: A bright beer with a fresh aroma of caramel, and the taste of lemon rind merges with a touch of sweetness from the malts. A traditional pilsner style with an English twist that is delicious with this French Cheese.
Shropshire Blue PDO
A superb mellow and well-rounded blue cheese with a buttery texture which offers a wonderful contrast of colours between the orange of the curd and the blue veins. This pairs perfectly with lighter, fresher and more citrus beers and ciders, which sit well against the mild piquancy and peppery flavours of the cheese. Paul recommends the following cider and bitter.
Jakes Summer Fruit Cider: This is a delicate, sparkling cider with the creamy taste of ripe English strawberries, finishing with a hint of sweetness and lingering characteristics of summer berries.
Banks Amber Bitter: This hand-crafted bitter uses the finest ingredients and is easy to drink. It is deep gold and comes with malty, hoppy flavours and a clean finish with fruity overtones.
Rowcliffe has served independent retailers since 1967 and premium supermarkets since the early 1990s, with quality cheese and fine foods. The firm was founded by Anthony Rowcliffe (who changed British attitudes to cheese) with a mission to champion and support small producers, which is still at the core of the business today.
Clemency Hall is Rowcliffe’s exclusive brand that focuses on quality and heritage, and this range is made by artisan producers specifically for independent retailers. All the cheeses are sourced from local producers in Britain and Europe, and the range of premium hand-crafted cheeses has won multiple awards since the brand’s inception.
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