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Beer and Cheeses from Switzerland

Amazing, but delicious! Cheese cannot be enjoyed only with wine! Discover our gourmet and unusual pairings of beer and Swiss Cheeses.

History and origin of beer

From the ancient city of Mesopotamia to global development

Who discovered beer? Let's face it, it's not the Belgians or the Alsatians. The traces that we have trace it back to Babylon, even to China. But it is probable that the principle of the fermentation of seeds was discovered all over the world, without our having proof of it, for lack of writing. In all civilizations, drunkenness has been "used" for religious and social purposes.

In any case, the earliest recipes we have come from Babylon, where Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer, was celebrated. Meanwhile, the Chinese were making t'ien tsiou, a green beer that is not fully fermented and low in alcohol, and tsiou, a finished and stronger beer. As for the Greeks and Romans, they associated barley wine with barbarians, since for them, civilized people drank wine!

As we know, it was the European monks who enabled the improvement and diversification of beer production. In the great Mitteleuropa, from France to Austria, they cultivated hops before fermenting it. But they also used gentian, cilantro, wormwood, sage and lavender. Very quickly, the production leaves the monasteries, in particular thanks to the urban concentration. The profession is organized, guilds and corporations govern the production of beer. In 1516, Bavaria enacted the Beer Purity Law, which still applies today.

New manufacturing processes

In terms of manufacturing, it was not until the mid-nineteenth century to witness a radical evolution of techniques, thanks in particular to the development of glassware, filtration devices, pressurized withdrawal, bottling and refrigeration. . At the same time, scientific research on microorganisms will make it possible to better understand and control the process of alcoholic fermentation, to improve the sanitary conditions of breweries and to produce a healthier and clearer drink. To this end, Louis Pasteur's contribution was very important.

Beers of all colors

The white ones are produced with wheat. They are very sweet. Their flavors are fruity, with hints of spice and citrus. Blondes have more pronounced malt aromas (sprouted cereals). There are hundreds of kinds, depending on the manufacturing process. Amber or red are brewed with lightly roasted malt for a more pronounced hop flavor. Their fizz is weaker and their flavor sweeter, just like the brunettes, whose malt is more roasted. Their taste is a balance between hops and caramel. The black ones are produced with very roasted malt, they have a bitterness of roast, of "burnt bread", which leaves the hops in the background.

Our tasting advice

Serve the beer cold but not ice cold, it will kill the taste of the cheese. It then releases all its aromas. Use suitable glasses. To multiply the sensations, taste the cheese first and the beer then… Then the opposite. As with a wine and cheese tasting, start with light cheeses and beers, then work your way up to strong cheeses and the beers that go with them. Play either on the resemblance between the two, or, on the contrary, on the contrasts.

Beer and Swiss Cheese Pairings

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  • You can start, for example, by combining a white beer with a small Tomme Vaudoise or a Swiss Classic Gruyère AOP, matured for 6 months. A beer that also goes perfectly with a raclette made from Raclette du Valais AOP or a Fondue Moitié-Moitié. We can even replace white wine with white beer!
  • We continue with a blond beer - a Belgian Trappist or a Czech pilsner for example. Serve with fine rosettes of Tête de Moine AOP, thin slices of Swiss Reserve Gruyère AOP or Swiss Reserve Emmentaler AOP.
  • We continue to build in strength, with amber beers and a Swiss Grottes AOP Emmentaler, matured for at least 12 months: it's perfect! Just like the Swiss Alpage Gruyère AOP, the Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP Extra or a Vacherin Mont-d'Or AOP: you need character!
  • The more caramelized flavors of red beers go better with the astringency of Sbrinz AOP, or with an Etivaz AOP, a Tête de Moine AOP Réserve.
  • For dark beers, bet on the full-bodied taste of Appenzeller® Surchoix, Swiss Grottes Emmentaler PDO or Sbrinz PDO.
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