Try Pairing IPAs With Blue Cheese At Your Next Tasting Party

Wine and cheese is a formidable duo that's understandably popular. The interplay between the two components comes from a textural relationship, with the mouthfeel of the cheese's fat molecules accentuated by the wine. And it emphasizes flavor, too, as wine is reported to taste better alongside cheese.

While a less classic combo, the same effect also happens with beer. In fact, acclaimed Trappist brewery Chimay has been pairing its beers with cheese since the 19th century. Switching out a glass of red for a brew comes with a range of benefits, not only lowering alcoholic intake but also encompassing more flavor possibilities.

For an especially bold duo, turn to serve blue cheese alongside an IPA. Both elements are flavor-dense stars, with the beer's bitterness matched by the cheese's funk. One bite will lead to another sip, creating a perfect pairing during a night of fermented delights. Of course, there are a variety of possibilities, like which flavors to choose. So let's dig into the details.

IPA and blue cheese pairing possibilities

When organizing a beer and cheese tasting, finding the perfect duo is all about balance. Lean too far in a certain direction, and that perfect symbiosis may not occur. Of course, it's subjective to taste, too. Since there's bound to be some misfires, assemble as many various beers and cheeses as possible.

Start by brainstorming pairings for stronger flavors. An ultra-sharp offering like rocquefort needs an equally tight flavor to compete. Go for an IPA that's maltier, because the grains do well with more pungent cheese offerings. A good idea would be to seek out a Double IPA, since the substyle packs in more of the component.

With a creamier offering, like a young gorgonzola, opt for a more typical, hop-forward IPA. The bite of the hop plant will do well to cut through the cheese's decadent mouthfeel. And if your blue cheese pick is on the milder side, go for a sweeter IPA, like a New England. That way, the flavor punch from inside the glass doesn't overwhelm the dairy offering.