Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish farmhouse cheese & craft beers.
Food Loves Beer Editors
HOW TO CRAFT AN IRISH CHEESE & BEER PAIRING
A good selection of authentic Irish farmhouse cheeses are ingredients for a flavorful St. Patrick's Day (or any day) celebration. Add Irish craft beer to the table and the flavor intensifies. Two of the greatest pleasures in life, cheese and beer are natural partners. They have similar beginnings, share similar flavors, and both reflect the characters of their makers. Plus beer's bubbly carbonation cuts right through the richness in cheese. Pairing the two can be as simple as mixing contrasting flavors, or matching mild with mild, and intense with intense.
Need some help making decisions? Here are a some suggestions to get you started:
Creating an appetizing cheese board is just as easy. A good rule of thumb is to start with three cheeses – one soft/semi-soft cheese, one hard cheese and one blue cheese. Another option is to have one cow’s milk cheese, one goat’s milk and one sheep’s milk. If adding a fourth cheese, think semi-soft, washed rind cheeses. We've curated a lovely cheese sampler from Ireland, and here's what it includes: Cooleeney Farmhouse Cheese, Cahill Porter, Cashel Blue, Mossfield Organic, Gleann Óir and Crozier Blue. You'll find more information about the cheeses and how we paired them in 6 Irish Farmhouse Cheeses We Love.
Hand-crafted cheeses from Ireland love craft brewed traditional Irish beers. So for a marriage made in heaven, and your pairing pleasure, we've matched the Irish farmhouse cheeses we love with these four O'Hara's Craft Beers: Irish Stout, Irish Red Ale, Irish Pale Ale and Leann Folláin. Learn more about each beer and the pairings in O'Hara's Irish Craft Beers.
The Cheese Mates
Crackers or bread are a must. You can even make your own Irish soda bread or Irish oatcakes, which pair quite well with blue cheese. Nuts, sweet, soft fruit like figs, grapes or pears, and chutneys, compote, or honey make great cheese partners too. They also add beauty and variety to your board. Try a dollop of McQuade's Apple 'n Ale Chutney.
Large portions of cheese make a dramatic presentation, especially if showcased on a rustic serving platter or handmade slate cheese board like the ones from Brooklyn Slate. They come with soapstone chalk so you can write cheese names directly on the slate. Or you can label the cheeses with adorable slate markers from Tag. Want to really dress up your board? Try adding a wood cheese knife, also from Brooklyn Slate. It's hand-carved in Vermont from locally sourced maple and looks smashing against slate.
What's your favorite Irish farmhouse cheeses? Which Irish craft beers do you pair them with?