04/16/2012 07:52 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Genius Pairing: Cheddar & Ale

For years now we've been beaten over the head by restaurant experts on how to properly pair wine with our foods. And we've been told that pairing wine with cheese is practically a maxim. But lately, with more and more interest moving toward beer, we've seen a surge in beer paired with food and with cheese. There are now even restaurants where beer is paired with every single dish in multi-course menus. We're here to prove that cheese and beer are meant to be together, specifically Cheddar and ale.

But beer and cheese as buddies isn't anything new. Back in the Middle Ages, Belgian monasteries specialized in producing beer and cheese. The monks not only sold their food products, they also enjoyed them! And to this day Belgians always eat cheeses alongside their beers -- that's just how they roll.

But why is Cheddar and ale the perfect match, you ask? In jolly old England farmers used to eat a hearty lunch, which even today is popular in British pubs. It's called the ploughman's lunch and it consists of Cheddar, pickle, apple, bread and butter and a pint of ale. Whereas wine and cheese paired together often fights for your palate's attention, ale and Cheddar complement one another -- they're both sharp and tangy.

If you're ready to try your hand at pairing cheese and beer or specifically cheddar and ale, take a look through our slideshow. You'll find some very unique ways for enjoying this food pairing. Click here to see some beer pairing recommendations for Cheddar.

Have you paired cheese and beer in your cooking? Let us know below.

cheese and beer recipes