Pairing Beer, Cheese and Jam: A Guide
Pairing beer with most foods requires an understanding of the flavor profiles presented in your beverage. A general idea of your meal plan or cheese selection will also help you choose the jam that will best complement your favorite brew.
When choosing the correct jam to pair with your beer, one should consider all of the food offerings involved.
For example, a crisp beer such as a cream ale or a wheat ale might have background notes of pears or summer berries. In this case, a pear or berry jam would enhance those flavors. From here, you would choose a cheese or food accompaniment appropriate to the setting.
If you have chosen your food course first and are serving a rich meal of roast beef with plum jam dressing, a strong, hearty ale would be a suitable beer choice.
A general rule to follow when pairing Jam and Beer is to enhance the nuances present in your beverage. Choose jams or marmalades that won’t compete with or upstage lighter-flavored beverages, and choose darker, more flavorful fruit preserves to pair with heartier beers, stronger cheeses or richer foods.
With the diversity in Brewmasters styles and beverage choices, it is important to know your beer’s characteristics. If you are uncertain, ask questions! Our suggested pairings are guidelines for your enjoyment.
If you are creating a cheese and beer pairing it is best to be mindful that neither the beer nor the cheese like to be exposed to oxygen for any length of time. Cut cheeses as you are serving them, and open beers as you are serving them. Some cheeses and beers are best served at room temperature to achieve the height of flavor. Jam however should be served chilled. If you are serving jam in an open dish it is best to chill the dish prior to presentation.
Pairing Beer & Jam: Suggestions
Feta or Goat Cheese ~Hefeweizen ~ Strawberry Jam
Sharp Cheddar or Gorgonzola Cheese ~ IPA ~ Apple or Pear Jam
Monterey Jack or Gouda Cheese ~Kolsch, Cream Ale, Pale Ale ~ Lemon Marmalade, Orange Marmalade, Apricot Jam
Gruyère or Winnimere Cheese ~Belgian Dark Ale ~ Cherry Jam or Orange Marmalade
Asiago, Cheshire or Colby Cheese ~English Brown Ale or Bock ~ Fig or Raisin Jam
Keep in mind that your Micro Brews and Specialty Beers will offer nuances of their own and should be paired accordingly.
Additional resources: The 7 Flavor Categories of Beer and How to Pair Them also see Craft Beer and Food Pairing Chart
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