Beer and cheese is a classic pairing. In recent years, food specialists have carefully considered which cheeses pair best with specific beer styles. We’ve even attended seminars on the topic at the Craft Brewers Conference in the U.S., one of the largest industry gatherings in the world. The pairing suggestions of these experts are based on both science and extensive experimentation. What makes somebody an expert? Maybe just extensive experimentation on one’s own! (The science of it just explains why a certain pairing works; it doesn’t always help you discover a good pairing). Many people think that IPAs work best with more pungent cheeses, like blue cheese. We thought it would be fun (and delicious) to add some complexity to the pairing by complementing the blue cheese with other food flavors.
Blue Cheese Bean Salad
1 can of white beans (rinsed)*
200g of blue cheese (crumbled)
3~4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp slivered almonds
2 tbsp mirin
2 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper (a pinch)
1 each pilsner, pale ale, IPA, porter, stout
1 Mix olive oil, mustard, mirin and honey with a whisk, then add salt and pepper to taste.
2 Pour mixture over beans and mix or toss (without breaking the beans).
3 Add almonds and mix or toss again.
4 Crumble blue cheese over salad after serving in a bowl or plate.
5 With pals, try a sip of each beer with some bean salad. Repeat until all is gone.
*It’s possible to boil dried white beans as well, but allow to cool before mixing.
This article was published in Japan Beer Times #33 (Winter 2018) and is among the limited content available online. Order your copy through our online shop or download the digital version from the iTunes store to access the full contents of this issue.