Craft beer and artisanal cheese are two culinary delights that have gained immense popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. The complex flavours and unique characteristics of both make them a match made in heaven. After more rigorous testing (it’s a tough life, guys) we have curated a list of the ultimate cheese pairings for some fantastic craft beers from Lambton's finest breweries. Join us on this flavourful journey as we explore the perfect combinations that will elevate your beer and cheese tasting experience - and when you’re done, check out our previous articles pairing gourmet cheese with more brews from Imperial City Brew House, Big Family Brewing Co., and Point Brewing Company.
The first stop on our journey through Lambton County is Imperial City Brew House in the heart of Sarnia. Known for their exceptional brews, ICBH offers a “Cerveza” Mexican Lager that pairs perfectly with Fiery Spice Cheddar. Cerveza is a light and crisp beer with a subtle hop bitterness and a refreshing finish. When paired with the Fiery Spice Cheddar, the beer's clean profile complements the cheese's bold and spicy flavours of chilies and peppers , creating a harmonious balance on the palate.
Next, we moved on to a wide selection of brews from Sons Of Kent Brewing Company. Located in Chatham, Sons Of Kent Brewing Company presents a range of beers that are a delight to the taste buds. Their "Festbier" Oktoberfest Lager pairs beautifully with Kaltbach Le Gruyere cheese. Oktoberfest lagers are known for their malty sweetness and smooth finish, which perfectly complements the nutty and slightly sweet & salty flavours of Kaltbach Le Gruyere.
Sons Of Kent's "Fingast 45" Red Ale finds its perfect match in Coombe Castle Sage Derby Cheese. The earthy and herbaceous notes of sage in the cheese harmonize beautifully with the caramel and toasty malt flavours found in the red ale.
The rich and velvety "Nevermore" Black Lager from Sons Of Kent pairs exquisitely with Le Campagnier Brie. Black lagers of this style offer a balance between roasted malt flavors and a clean finish, which beautifully complement the buttery texture of the brie - like adding rich, heavy cream to a strong cup of coffee.
The robust "8 Track" XPA from Sons Of Kent holds up perfectly against a 10-year-old Wisconsin cheddar. XPA beers, known for their hop-forward profiles and higher alcohol content, need a strong and confident partner - which is why this beer pairs wonderfully with the sharp and tangy, yet smooth flavours of aged cheddar.
Sons Of Kent's "Lone Wolf" Coffee Blonde Beer was the easiest pairing of the night! The moment we tasted it alongside Coombe Castle Sticky Toffee Caramel, we knew we found a perfect match. The smooth and creamy coffee notes in the beer complement the sweet and sticky toffee flavours of the cheese, creating a decadent combination that will leave you craving more.
Moving on to Stonepicker Brewing Company located in Forest, this brewery offers a range of beers that are a testament to their craftsmanship. Their "Hack & Slash" IPA is a perfect match with 1969 Queso Manchego Artesano Cheese. The bold and hoppy flavours of the IPA cut through the richness of the nutty and peppery flavours Manchego cheese produces, creating a gorgeous contrast.
Stonepicker's "Tractor on the Wall" Stout pairs wonderfully with Saint Agur Blue Cheese. When paired with the creamy, rich & buttery blue cheese, the roasted malt flavours, chocolate notes and creamy mouthfeel of stout creates a symphony on the palate. It takes a robust beer to hold up to a strong blue cheese without getting lost in the mix, and Tractor on the Wall held its ground.
For our last stop of the night, we headed to downtown Sarnia and River Run Brew Co. who offer a wide range of beers that are sure to impress. Their namesake beer, "River Run" Blonde Ale, pairs beautifully with a 2-year-aged cheddar from the award-winning Cow's Creamery. The light and crisp profile of the blonde ale complements the sharp and nutty flavours of the aged cheddar.
River Run's "Red Lite" American Amber finds its match with an Irish Porter cheese. American Amber beers offer a balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, which pairs wonderfully with the rich and creamy flavours of the Irish Porter cheese.
We finish off our tour with River Run's unique Mango Cream Ale, "Here We Go," which we naturally paired with Mango Ginger White Stilton. White Stilton is known for its crumbly texture and mild flavour, and when sweet mango is added to the mix, it becomes the perfect complement to the fruity and refreshing notes of the mango cream ale.
Embark on a flavour-filled adventure by visiting your favourite brewery from the list above and then swing by The Cheese Wedge to purchase the perfect cheese pairing. Whether you're a beer enthusiast or a cheese connoisseur, these combinations will take your tasting experience to new heights. So gather your friends, indulge in some brews and bites, and savour the harmonious marriage of craft beer and artisanal cheese. Cheers to a night of unforgettable flavours!