Beer and Cheese Chasers

Beer and cheese chasers – the surprise combination that is a winter wonder!

Take a leaf out of the Lithuanian book of cold weather indulgence and try Džiugas cheese with a local craft beer. 

If summer is all about champagne and strawberries, an innovative idea for the opposite end of the year combines beer and cheese. A good beer and a strong cheese make the perfect partners for the season. Which is why Džiugas, the cheese from Lithuania, is getting a boost from the increasing number of beer fans who find this densely delicious, robust cheese the perfect chaser after a well-brewed, richly flavoured beer. This delicious Lithuanian cheese is super-mature which means it not only packs a punch in terms of taste, it is also lactose free.

Džiugas is a favourite hard cheese in Lithuania, where it is a household name and on every cheese-lover’s shopping list. Whilst being one of the most mature cheeses you can buy, it is deliciously flavoured and not just scarily strong.

The careful maturation process builds body and encourages the crystalline crunch that is a sure sign of a well-aged cheese. However, it also protects the cheesy richness and creamy flavours that were originally formed early in the cheese-making process. This means Džiugas cheese is delicious not just with traditional wines but also with contemporary beers. The younger Džiugas maturities (Mild 12 and Delicate 18) work well with the paler brews, while the more mature varieties (Piquant 24 and Gourmet 36) are ideal with the stronger, darker ales. For a really luxurious indulgence it is really worth trying the unique 60 and 100 month old cheese that is available in Selfridges food hall, right in time for Christmas!

So, for this year’s Christmas entertainment, why not set up a beer and cheese tasting, pairing local beers alongside this Lithuanian cheese. Traditional Džiugas cheese tastings also include nuts, honey and dried fruits. Tie these together with the umami meatiness of the cheese and you will find all the best flavours in the beer are highlighted.

For the non-beer drinkers, Džiugas is also available pre-grated and ready to add its distinctive flavour to top off a bake or a soup, grilled vegetables and meats or simply to make the easiest, most delicious toasty.

Grated Džiugas can be found in Sainsbury’s while the widest selection of maturities can be found at Selfridges Food Halls or in specialist independent food retailers.