Perfect Pairs: Farmhouse Cheese & Beer

Ready to inefficiently harness the energy of the sun? These three pairings of farmhouse ales and rustic cheeses capture the sepia-toned nostalgia of a country summer—with the power to warm up any winter occasion.

Jamie Bogner Dec 6, 2020 - 3 min read

Perfect Pairs: Farmhouse Cheese & Beer Primary Image

Marieke Gouda Plain Mature & Transmitter Brewery S9 Noble Saison

A cheesemaker once told me that cheese is an inefficient way to harness the energy of the sun. I love the resigned poetry of that. I mean, 2020 has been quite a year—we need all the resigned poetry we can get (and I want to harvest the energy of the sun!). Transmitter Noble Saison with Marieke Mature Gouda both do this effectively—you can taste the grass, the hay, the pasture in both of them. They dance together like two sweethearts under a harvest moon: we’re not sure where one ends and the other begins, but we know that the sun will rise soon enough, and all is well as long as they’re together. Dried hay, fresh-cut grass, and the tang you get when you bite into a crisp apple—it’s all there.

—Tia Keenan, author of Melt, Stretch, & Sizzle: The Art of Cooking Cheese and other books,

Jasper Hill Moses Sleeper & Boulevard Tank 7

Bloomy-rind cheeses and saisons are a go-to match for me. Jasper Hill Moses Sleeper from Vermont is all mushroomy and supple, like a great raw-milk Camembert. Pour me a Boulevard Brewing Tank 7 alongside it, please. —Janet Fletcher, publisher of Planet Cheese and author of Cheese & Beer,

12 Month Comté & Au Baron Cuvée de Jonquilles

Brown butter and nutty notes in the ranging country cheese from the French Jura offer a sweetness that balances the bright lactic jab. Grass and wildflower play their part, lending an earthiness that cuts the richness, but at 12 months, the cheese still holds on to youthful irrereverence and energy that will later tame and dry with age. Au Baron’s Cuvée de Jonquilles provides a light bière de garde malty sweetness that rides in the same lane, while peppercorn spice, light stone fruit, honey, and wildflower notes in the beer capture a complementary French countryside vibe. —Jamie Bogner

Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].