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DIY Beer, Cheese + Salumi Pairing Evening

By June 16, 2017 Beer, Parings, Salumi No Comments
Cheese + Salumi Pairings
Cheese + Salumi Pairings

Cheese + Salumi Pairings

Let’s face it, Dads can be hard to buy for.  With Moms, you have your go-to’s like jewelry, flowers and brunch. But with Dad, you can only give him a box of golf balls so many times before it gets kind of lame.

Here is an idea….give Dad the gift of meat and cheese and salumi!  We had our annual Father’s Day “Beer, Cheese + Salumi” class on Thursday with Goldspot Brewing and Elevation Charcuterie.

We had so much fun that we thought you might want to re-create the event at home as a fabulous Father’s Day gift. Talk about thoughtful!!  We can provide the cheese and salumi and Goldspot can provide the beer from their Berkeley-based brewery.

Our Pairings

Cheese + Salumi Class

Cheese + Salumi Class

Here are our pairings.  Some basics on pairing beer and cheese and cheese and salumi follow in case you want to wing it.

Beer: Goldspot Julia’s Blessing Kolsch (ABV 4.5%)
Salumi: Elevation Mole Salami (Denver)
Cheese: Red Barn Family Farm’s Cupola (Wisconsin, Raw Cow’s Milk)

B: Goldspot Risky Business Pale Ale (ABV 5%)
S: Elevation Calabrese Salami (Denver)
C: Bethmale (France, Pasteurized Goat’s Milk)

B: Goldspot I’ll Be Bock (ABV 6%)
S: Biellese Prosciutto Americano (New York)
C: Beemster XO Gouda (Holland, Pasteurized Cow’s Milk)

B: Goldspot Unicorn Floatie Strawberry Hefeweizen (ABV 5%)
S: Smoking Goose Gin & Juice Goose Salami (Indianapolis)
C: Vermont Shepherd’s Invierno (Pasteurized Sheep + Cow’s Milk)

B: Goldspot Syrah Grizette (ABV 14%)
S: Elevation Truffle & Sea Salt Salami (Denver)
C: Fleur Verte (France, Pasteurized Goat’s Milk)

B: Goldspot Sweet Romance Lavender Honey Stout (ABV 5%)
S: Elevation Truffle & Sea Salt Salami (Denver)
C: Roquefort (France, Raw Sheep’s Milk)

Pairing Beer + Cheese

Ultimately, the best pairing is the pairing YOU like best.  But there are some general rules you can use to find your way to that perfect taste combination.  Here are the ones we use:


  • Avoid pairings where one texture or flavor overpower the other. It’s about striking a balance between the acidity and the fat content of the cheese.
  • Lighter beers and wines with lighter cheeses (fresh chevre) and bigger stronger beers or wines with rich cheeses or more complex aged cheeses.


  • In other words, pair likes with likes to bring out a specific flavor. Pairing a sour food with a sour drink, you may get flavors brought to the top that you wouldn’t have tasted before.
  • Good example: a stinky, washed-rind cheese with a pungent/sour beer.


  • On the contrary, pairing contrasting flavors can create balance and sometimes an altogether new flavor.
  • Classic contrasting pairing is sweet and salty!
  • So instead of pairing the that malty sweet beer with a sweet aged gouda, go with a hard granular Fiore Sardo.


  • Whether you are pairing meat and cheese or cheese and wine or cheese and salumi, you should order you tastes from lightest mouthfeel and lowest alcohol content, to heaviest mouthfeel and highest alcohol content. Begin with the lightest and work your way to the heaviest and most complex.

Pairing Cheese + Salumi

As is the case with beer, pairing cheese and salumi is a personal thing.  But we have a few guideposts we can offer for coming up with a good pairing.

1.  Cured meat is full of fat, protein, and salt (just like cheese) so you have to keep that in mind when pairing the two to avoid getting overwhelmed.

2. When pairing cheese with salumi, in general, the “opposites attract” theory of pairing, versus the complementary pairings work best.

3. For instance, if you’re pairing a cheese with something like a Spicy Calabrese Salami, you’d want to pair it with something less bold or complimentary in flavor rather than a competing flavor profile.

4. By the way, cured meats fall into two major groups: whole muscle or encased. Whole muscle meats, like prosciutto, are typically dry-cured (salted, hung to dry, and sometimes smoked), while the latter, like salami, are usually fermented in a somewhat humid environment.

Whole muscle meat tends to be sweeter, nuttier, and more “meaty”; encased meats often have a discernible tang as well as intense notes of black pepper, red pepper, fennel, truffle, and so on. When you’re thinking about a meat’s acidity and sweetness, keep this difference in mind.

5. Many sausages boast spices, garlic, smoke, or heat that introduce a third flavor component to play around with for your pairing.

Our Final Advice

  • Experiment.  Have Fun.
  • It’s about what you like! Every palate is different.
  • And even a bad pairing can be educational. (It tells you what you don’t like!)