Monastic pairings: A guide to enjoying Trappist cheese and beers.
Chimay is perhaps one of the best-known of all Trappist beers available on the market, if not the most popular of them all. But on the farms of the Abbey of Scourmont (neighboring the Belgian town of Chimay, where the beers take their name from), monks also work on different types of cheese, ranging from the creamiest (like the Poteaupré, which melts immediately in your mouth) to the more aged (like the well-known Vieux Chimay, which is aged for up to six months).
The monks make these cheeses with specific pairings in mind which, of course, include their own beers. You can see how they brew them in the short documentary below:
If you want to organize your own Trappist cheese and beer pairing gathering, feel free to visit the Abbey’s website. There, the monks share general recommendations that might apply to any pairing, and some more specific recommendations for particular pairings.
The Scourmount monks recommend four steps for a good cheese and beer tasting:
- First, take a small sip of beer, to appreciate its flavor separately.
- Eat a piece of cheese, without the rind.
- Now eat a second piece of cheese, this time including the outer rind.
- Finally, take a generous gulp of beer, and enjoy the different flavors remaining on your palate.