Beer & Food Pairing with Unibroue

Saturday, January 09, 2016

We have all heard about wine and food pairings but what about beer and food? I certainly haven’t done this yet so I was very excited to learn more about it at a tasting session with Beer Sommelier, Sylvain Bouchard, and Unibroue Brewmaster, Jerry Vietz.

I've been a long time Unibroue fan ever since I tried their Blanche de Chambly.  That was actually the gateway beer that led me to explore the world of Canadian craft beer and the many different styles of beer that exist. Blanche de Chambly is the very first refermented witbier in North American that was brewed according to Belgian tradition.  Since Blanche de Chambly, Unibroue has produced a number of quality beers that stand true to their style and embody the inspiration of brewing traditions developed over the last two centuries by Trappist monks in Belgium. 

Jerry and Sylvian are truly passionate about quality beer and really take pride in the Unibroue brand. They gave me a very informative run-down about the history of Unibroue, the many awards their beers have won, the styles of beers they make and how they are made and of course, how to pair certain beers with food.

The first beer I tried at the tasting was the Grande Reserve which is an extra strong dark ale that is released once a year across North America (about 90,000 bottles). This beer has a strong malty flavour with hints of cocoa and mocha and a subtle oaky finish.  We paired the beer with an Opera Cake which is a French style dessert made with layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze.  This pairing worked really well because the cake was very light and not overly sweet.  If the dessert is too sweet the sugars will affect your perception of the beer which is why it’s so important to choose a beer that is just as sweet as the dessert, or sweeter.  The mocha really stood out when pairing these two, making it a clear winner for a sweet ending after a dinner party.

The next beer was La Fin du Monde which is a triple-style golden ale with mild yeast and a complex palate of malt, fruit and spice notes followed by a smooth, dry finish.  La Fin du Monde is one of the most popular beers by Unibroue and has won more medals and awards than any other Canadian beer. 

This beer pairs well with any type of blue cheese, mussels, salmon, game, or sausage. We paired this beer with an old white cheddar cheese which to my surprise, was amazing. The yeast and cereal like flavours complimented the cheese quite nicely and gave it an extra creamy mouth-feel. Jerry pointed out that the beer is basically like liquid bread, which is why it goes hand in hand with cheese so perfectly.

In fact, every Unibroue beer can be paired with cheese which makes me SUPER excited to host a beer and cheese party.  Here are some of the different cheeses you can pair with Unibroue beers with:

Blanche de Chambly
Brie & camembert, fresh goat cheese, firm washed rind, firm beer washed rind, soft washed and mixed rind.

Éphémère Apple
Brie & camembert, fresh goat cheese, firm washed rind, firm beer washed rind, firm 100% pasteurized  cow milk.

Soft washed and mixed rind, aged goat cheddar, soft 100% pasteurized  cow milk, 21 days, firm washed rind, raw milk, 90 days, soft washed rind, raw milk, 60 days.

La Fin du Monde
Firm 100% pasteurized cow milk, aged goat cheddar, aged cheddar, firm washed rind, raw milk, 90 days

Don de Dieu
Brie & camembert, firm 100% pasteurized  cow milk, aged goat cheddar.

Trois Pistoles
Firm beer washed rind, aged goat cheddar, aged cheddar, firm 100% pasteurized  cow milk, 50 days, firm washed rind, raw milk, 90 days, blue cheese.

(pairings from

Just add some crackers, nuts, dried fruit and cold cuts and you’re good to go!

Thank you to Jerry and Sylvian for a wonderful tasting session!

Happy Pairing!

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