Pair Beer and Cheese with John Tyler

“Cheese with beer can be wonderful,” says John Tyler, LCBO buyer for beer and cider. “And if you take some simple ground rules into consideration, the pairings can be elevated to awesome! Make sure that you’re matching the intensity of flavours for both beer and cheese. If one of them is too strong, it will overpower the other, so aim for balance and harmony. Match like-for-like flavours, pairing herbs with hops, or experiment with contrasting flavours, such as a salty blue cheese with a sweeter, full-bodied beer.”

Try These Great Pairings


Mild, semi-firm cheeses, such as Gouda and Cheddar

“Malt-focused beers work well with these types of cheeses. The nutty, buttery elements pair well with ESBs (Extra Special Bitters), brown and pale ales, bocks, amber lagers, Märzen and stronger Belgium golden ales and quadrupels. Or try a light lager with Emmental.”

Soft, bloomy-rind cheeses, such as Camembert and Brie

“The earthy, spicy and mushroom notes in these types of cheeses go well with farmhouse-style beers, such as French Bière de Garde and saison pale ales. These beers have spicy yeast notes that complement the ripening of the cheese.”

Blue cheeses

“There is a great deal of variety with blue cheeses, from the soft and creamy kind to those that are firm and aged. Barley wine and Stilton is a classic pairing, especially if you accompany it with a sweet digestive biscuit. The salty-sweet and malty cereal flavours work harmoniously together. Imperial stouts and Double IPAs can also stand up to the intensity of stronger blue cheeses.”