Pairing: Cheddar + Pilsner
Suggested brews: King Pilsner from Nobleton, Ont., or a classic Pilsner Urquell.
Serving notes: Corbeil suggests Black River’s two-year-old cheddar. “[Aged cheddars] have a strong, dry bite that matches perfectly with the clean, malt body and sharp bitterness of a good Pilsner,” he says. “Like Kim Mitchell blasting from a boombox, this will get any party started.”
Pairing: Triple-cream + Belgian double
Suggested brews: Dominus Vobiscum Double from Quebec’s Microbrasserie Charlevoix or Belgium’s Westmalle Dubbel.
Serving notes: Quebec’s smooth and buttery Le Riopelle de L’Isle has a “nutty, earthy flavour that should be paired with something spritzy, yet strong,” Corbeil says. With their sweet caramel and plum notes, doubles play well with this cheese’s “mushroom earthiness,” and the brew’s “effervescence lifts the cheese from the tongue.” This cheese is a runny number, so you’ll need a vessel: Corbeil suggests a slice of dry, spicy sausage.
Pairing: Gruyère + a bock or a Belgian triple
Suggested brews: Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde or Amsterdam Spring Bock (available February to May).
Serving notes: Match a nutty cave-aged Gruyère with Amsterdam’s “malt masterpiece,” or bring out the cheese’s fruitiness with La Fin du Monde. “Either way, the pairing is perfect.”
Pairing: Blue + imperial stout
Suggested brews: Sawdust City’s Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus or Iceland’s smoked Olvisholt Brugghus Lava.
Serving notes: After your tasting-party guests are properly drunk, it’s time to bring out the stinky cheese. The smoked blue from Blue Haze “demands a beer big enough to stand up to its bold flavours,” says Corbeil. Sawdust City’s imperial stout is loaded with espresso and chocolate, but also “packs a bitter punch” to round out the sweetness of the cheese. Top this odorific fromage with a slice of dark chocolate and you have dessert.
Pairing: Processed cheese + flavoured lager
Suggested brew: Miller Chill Lite.
Serving notes: Cater to picky eaters with Kraft Singles—just unwrap and roll! Corbeil says the distinctive plastic-like flavour of the cheese goes beautifully with “syrupy fake lime.”