We’re just going to come out and say it. We love cheese.

Almost as much as we love beer – and that’s saying something. Give us the opportunity to enjoy them together and we’ll be the first in line. Available in a huge range of flavors, intensities, and densities, cheese is pure MAGIC. If you’ve made it this far, you probably agree. With today’s incredible selection of craft beer out there, the sky is the limit for cheese and beer pairing options. Whether you like your cheese soft and mellow or creamy and pungent, there’s a beer to go with it that you won’t want to miss.

While you are certainly welcome to wing it with the cheese and beer that you happen to have in your fridge, a little pairing knowledge can go a long way toward a truly sublime experience. Wondering where to get started? Here are a few pro tips to help you hit the ground running:

  • Neither your cheese nor your beer should overpower the other. Pairing a super hoppy IPA with a mild cheese will result in the beer overwhelming the delicate cheese flavors. Aim to pair bold beer with potent cheese and lighter brews with mellower cheeses.
  • Because cheese and beer ingredients both start with soil and are processed via microbes, some common flavors appear when they’re from the same region. Pairing beer with cheese made in the same area can release some awesome complementary flavor combinations.
  • When in doubt, ask your local cheesemonger. These folks seriously know their cheese and will undoubtedly have some great tips on which to pair with your favorite brew.

Ready? Check out this sheet of suggested pairings to plan your own beer and cheese tasting party for friends… or for one. We won’t judge.