Book Review: Cheese and Beer

Even for beer geeks who love minutiae and going down educational rabbit holes can be scared off of learning about other food and drink which have similar learning curves.

Thankfully, Cheese and Beer by Janet Fletcher carries a consistent tone that straddles the line between beer appreciation and snobbery well. By that I mean that some craft beer books seem to either apologize for the price or flavor adjectives and try to dumb down to an extent. Or they might avoid plain language for technical detail.

This book (which I read via the Nook) is straightforward. Here is the beer style. Here are examples of that style from breweries far and wide. Here are three cheeses to pair with it and why. Here are other cheeses you can also try.

The descriptions are great for both the beers and the cheeses. The writing is clear and as opposed to some books the beers selected as exemplars are uniformly solid. The photography is very nice though some of the backdrops seem a bit over used.  The reasoning that Fletcher uses as to why each style pairs with individual cheeses makes what could be complicated, understandable.

And it makes you hungry. The recipe using Picandou cheese and salad with a Kolsch is simple but sounds delicious and there are at least four or five cheeses that I want to try now.

The only issue that I take is that the format is a bit repetitive. And that point is highlighted when Fletcher focuses on a single beer and makes even more specific choices. I would have liked to see more specific beer and cheese pairings. Saison DuPont or a coffee stout would have made good choices.

All in all this is a splendid edition to a beer library.

Belgian Beer and Cheese

One week from today:
“Belgian Cheese and Beer
with Kendra, The Bruery Cheesemonger @ The Bruery Provisions, $30

Wednesday, September 21st 2011 8pm-9:30pm

Do you love Belgian cheese and beer? If you do, or just want to learn more about the two, then stop what you’re doing and let us pour you some beer and cut you pieces of the perfect cheeses! During the Middle Ages in Belgium, monasteries were known for their exceptional beers and cheeses – a staple of their daily diets and form of income. You will get an overview of Belgian cheese and beer styles as well as discuss with you the fundamentals of pairing the two, all the while eating and drinking the syllabus.

Class will include:
Overview of basic Belgian cheese and beer styles
History of the Belgian Beer and Cheese world
5 Cheeses and Beer Parings
Fundamentals of Beer and Cheese pairing
Print out of Basic pairings and tasting notes
Additional accompaniments chosen”

Call (714) 997-2337 to see if there are any spots left.