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The fortifying pleasure of pairing food with alcohol has long been recognised – as the 19th century saying went: “Drink a pot of ale, eat a scoop of Stilton every day, you will make old bones.”

The perfect match

Beer and Stilton

Stilton and port are now a power pairing, but the creamy blue cheese originally accompanied beer when an innkeeper in the village of Stilton spread its fame in the 1700s, by selling the cheese to coach travellers between London and Edinburgh.

Writers of the day recommended serving Stilton with porter, whose dark, robust sweetness balanced the deep and salty flavour of the cheese. It’s a good match for those who find port too syrupy, and sweet notes can be added to the dish with fig and date chutney or even a black cherry compote.


Cider and cheese

Cider and cheese are a classic partnership. A crisp, chilled, sparkling cider will slice through the strongest of cheeses to leave a satisfyingly fresh palate before the next rewarding bite.

As a guide, choose low-strength ciders with mild cheese and vice versa, but in general think about how the two distinctive flavours will work together – they need to complement, not compete.

Serve goats’ cheese with beetroot & horseradish chutney and a dry cider or even perry, to counter the saltiness of the cheese and align with the earthiness of the chutney. You need a rich, full-bodied cider to drink with extra-mature Cheddar, while a lighter, fruity cider suits ripe brie served with a chunky chilli jam.

AAK Foodservice (A Trading Division of AAK International)

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