Entertaining: Host A Beer and Cheese Pairing Party

WI Cheese Entertaining_beer cheese party_KathEats

by Kath, RD, of Kath Eats

Everyone knows wine and cheese is a match made in heaven, but have you considered switching things up and hosting a beer and cheese party instead? As craft beer continues to make its grand entrance into society, the diversity of beer is growing fast; yet many people haven’t explored styles beyond their safe canned favorites. Challenge your friends to try new beers and pull out the flavors inside with an equally diverse selection of cheese.

To make the most of a beer & cheese party, ask guests to each bring a 6-pack of beer and a cheese they haven’t tried before, such as aged Wisconsin Cheddar, a nutty Wisconsin Blue Cheese, or combine the two with a Wisconsin Cheddar-Blue.

You’ll want to have plenty of glasses on hand and a pitcher of water for rinsing. To cleanse the palate between pours and bites, provide guests with crackers. The salted wheat cracker recipe below is simple, adds a personal touch and an even more gourmet vibe to your beer and cheese pairing party.

For more cheese and beer suggestions, and tasting tips, visit the entertaining section on EatWisconsinCheese.com.

Salted Wheat Crackers

by Kath of KathEats

Makes 50 1-inch crackers

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) water, as warm as possible from sink
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin White Cheddar, finely shredded
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
Sea salt for topping, to taste

Add dry ingredients to a bowl and evenly mix to combine. Add wet ingredients and mix for a minute or two to bring dough together. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Roll dough on a greased surface (such as a countertop) into a large rectangle. Using a pizza cutter (and a ruler if desired, for straight lines), cut dough into cracker-size rectangles or triangles.

Prep pan with cooking spray, olive oil or a silicone mat. Transfer cracker dough pieces to pan. Sprinkle with sea salt (or herbs or more cheese!) and press toppings into crackers. Stab crackers with a fork to allow steam to release. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crackers begin to become fragrant. A perfectly done cracker will feel a little dense, and have just the tiniest bit of give to it.

Check out some of Kath’s past creations for Wisconsin Cheese:
Figgy Mushroom Pizza with Wisconsin Blue Cheese
A re-creation of The Atlanta from the Cheese & Burger Society
Wisconsin Parmesan Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage
Grilled Cheese, Seven Ways