If you believe the stories, St. Patrick led quite an extraordinary life. You’ve probably heard about him leading the poisonous snakes out of Ireland, but did you know he was kidnapped at 16 and spent six years as a slave before he escaped? Not to mention, he’s credited with bringing 33 people back to life. With that kind of resume, no wonder the guy got a day named after him!
St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Ireland dating all the way back to the 9th or 10th century. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of all things Irish – parades, green everything and of course, drinking! It’s no news that St. Patrick’s Day is the most popular holiday for drinking. In fact, the average person out celebrating the luck of the Irish drinks four to five drinks on St. Patrick’s Day. And get this, 13,000,000 pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day worldwide.
When thinking of testing out some new cheese pairings for March, I couldn’t help but to wonder what might go best with the most iconic of all Irish beers. Guinness has been brewing beer since 1759. I was surprised to see that Guinness Draught was only developed in 1959, since when I think of a Guinness, it’s this particular beer with its dark color and creamy head that I think of. The Draught looks and smells of coffee and has a perfect balance of bitter and sweet with such a great malty taste. Guinness Draught is so full of flavor that it made it hard to pick a couple of pairing options, but after sampling a couple of dozen different cheeses, I found two pairings that really sham-rocked it!
Cahill’s Original Irish Porter
An Irish Cheddar combined with Porter, this cheese is made in the county of Limerick about two hours away from the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. When doing pairings, we always say “What Grows Together, Goes Together.” I think this is close enough to qualify.
Cahill’s Irish Porter is one of the coolest looking cheeses in the case. The cheddar is mixed with Porter and the result is a really magnificent marbling effect. The cheese by itself has caramel and chocolate notes with a buttery finish.
The Guinness Draught and Cahill’s Porter really blend together nicely. The cheese takes away some of the bitter from the beer and allows the roasted malt flavors to come through. The butterfat from the Cheddar covers your tongue and it finishes with a surprising buttery flavor.
Baetje Farms Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coeur de la Creme
This Chevre (fresh goat milk cheese) is flavored with raspberry and dark chocolate. Made in Bloomsdale, MO this little local dairy has quietly produced some of the best goat cheeses in the country year after year.
Coeur de la Creme is french for “heart of the cream” and you’ll easily spot this cheese in the case, because the folks at Baetje Farms lovingly handform it into the shape of a heart. Goat cheese has a slight tart flavor and when combined with the raspberry and the rich dark chocolate it makes this the perfect dessert cheese. I love eating this particular cheese with some Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thins as a sweet snack.
I was blown away with how well the dark chocolate and malt created a coffee flavor. I love the way this pairing lingers with a fruity sweet cream finish … woah, it is so good! This was undoubtedly my favorite pairing for St. Patrick’s Day.
The fun thing about pairing cheese and beer is that your experience is going to be different than anyone else’s. You can try sweet or savory or sour items. If you like it, it’s a good pairing. Be adventurous. Try different combinations. When you find something you like, share it with the world. Always remember the Irish Proverb, “Laughter is Brightest Where Food Is Best.”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
St. Patrick's Day Inspired Recipes
You don't have to be Irish to appreciate these delicious eats and drinks.
An unexpected combo made with familiar flavors – the Jameson® Cold Brew & Cola is the perfect way to shake up any occasion. Try it for yourself to discover the smooth taste of Jameson combined with the rich taste of coffee and cola.
Elevate your corned beef with this recipe from Schnucks.