Traditionally beer and cheese are both farmhouse products and are made with similar base ingredients that go through a related aging and fermentation process. These common characteristics allow for an optimal pairing as beer and cheese naturally have similar flavours. The carbonation of beer is the perfect palette cleanser for the creamy and fatty texture of cheese.
Fresh, soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, and ricotta are best paired with mellow beers, wheat beers or lagers. Curd cheeses known as Pasta filata which includes lighter flavoured cheese like mozzarella and provolone are best paired with Belgian wits, and Bavarian whites and wheat beers.
Pilsners, pale ales and porters should be paired with soft spreadable cheeses with bloomy rinds such as camembert and brie. Washed-rind cheeses with a semi-soft texture like Gouda, Havarti, Colby and Monterey Jack should be served with brown ales, amber ales, bitters, and Belgian pale ales.
Semi-hard cheeses like cheddar are best paired with Pilsners, bitters, and IPAs. Hard cheese has a firm and grainy texture, for example parmesan, and should be paired with strong ales, stouts, and porters. Ales, stouts and stronger porters can also be paired with blue vein, marbled cheese with a strong flavour and crumbly texture such as Roquefort, gorgonzola, and other blue cheeses.