Cheesy Bites with Beer

Winter weather sharpens our appetites, and something a little bit hearty is most welcome before dinner, just to take the edge off our hunger. We asked recipe developer Tonia Wilson-Vuksanovic to come up with three seasonal bites using three different kinds of cheese. Then we found exactly the right beer to pair with each one. Make one or make all three if friends are dropping by, and welcome them in from the cold.

Erdinger Weissbier paired with Mini Goat Cheese & Dried Cherry Clafoutis

Erdinger’s famous Bavarian wheat beer is bottle-fermented, like Champagne, and the similarity doesn’t end there. Crisp acidity and sparkle recall a good bubbly and cut through the richness of these Mini Goat Cheese & Dried Cherry Clafoutis so nicely. Meanwhile yeasty biscuit and citrus notes reach out to the lemon zest and herbs in the savoury clafoutis and especially to its tangy goat cheese. Some think of weissbier as a summer brew; this match proves it’s equally welcome in winter.

St. Peter's English Ale paired with Mini Rösti with Cheddar & Bacon

Some call it an English pale ale, some call it a bitter, but this subtly flavoured organic ale from the venerable brewery in Suffolk, England, may be most like a pint of mild drawn from a cask in a British pub. With low carbonation and a beautiful balance of biscuity malt and gentle hopping, it’s a great match for anything with nippy cheddar cheese in it. And its creamy texture suits the richness of the bacon-flecked Mini Rösti with Cheddar & Bacon to a T.

New Limburg St. Barbara Tripel paired with Warm Blue Cheese & Hazelnut Dip with Apricot Pan Bread

Here’s a strong (9% ABV) and complex golden ale from Ontario, made in the Belgian abbey tripel style, that dances with this delectable bite like ice skaters Virtue and Moir. Under a huge head of foam, the beer’s yeasty nose conjures aromas of orange, quince, banana, clove and coriander seed. And they’re all there in the flavour, wrapping their arms around the blue cheese, fruit and nuts in our Warm Blue Cheese & Hazelnut Dip with Apricot Pan Bread. A gold-medal matchup!