Cheese: The Ultimate Companion to Beer

Review by Kristina Sepetys

Cheese & Beer
By Janet Fletcher
(Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2017)

The same hearty, flavorful qualities that make beer and cheese a popular combination can also make for challenges when pairing the two. Janet Fletcher is the publisher of the Planet Cheese blog, former San Francisco Chronicle columnist, and author of more than 25 books on food and wine. Her Cheese & Beer, first published in 2013 and now coming out in paperback, is a guide to two-dozen popular craft beers and their best cheese partners. As with most food pairings, according to Fletcher, “Success largely rides on contrasts and complements.” These may be found in texture, intensity, sweetness, bitterness, aroma, and other characteristics. For example, Fletcher suggests combining hoppy beers with tangy cheeses and malty beers with nutty or sweet cheeses. Organized by 23 beer styles (Pale Ales, Belgians, Quadrupels, Sour Ales, Wheat Ales, among many others), each chapter recommends craft beers and breweries and describes the types of cheese—dozens and dozens of different types and makers—that pair well with the beer. Fans of beer and cheese will be delighted by the extensive list of suggested cheese and beer combinations to try.

The new paperback of Cheese & Beer comes out next week, so check with your favorite local independent bookseller. Our favorite is Mrs. Dalloway’s in Berkeley.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.