Written by Team Siren / Neals Yard Dairy

Soft Cheese & Beer Pairing

If you've been with us for a while, you'll know that we absolutely love pairing cheese and beer. Both beer and cheese bring so many amazing flavour and sensory profiles to the table, the possibilities are endless. If you've brought our latest cheese & beer pairing box, then you've probably come here for more information on why we've chosen the pairings, and the cheeses themselves.

To paraphrase Joey... Cheese... Goood. Beer.... Goooooood! Let's go!

Before we get into this box's delights, feel free to have a read of this older blog, which goes more into detail about why cheese and beer so well together, and food pairing in general - it's a good read on the basics if food and beer pairing is new to you:

Why Cheese loves Beer (and vice versa) - A Guide to Cheese and Beer Pairing

Baron Bigod

Baron Bigod was the creation of Jonny Crickmore at Fen Farm Dairy. Made in small batches to a Brie recipe passed on by a French cheesemaker, it is the only large format Brie-style cheese currently being produced in the UK. In fact, it is arguably more authentic than the majority of French Bries in that it's made on a farm as opposed to a creamery, using the very freshest of milk from Jonny's own herd of Montbéliarde cows. The curds are hand ladled into large moulds using traditional pelle-à-brie ladles, and the young cheeses are salted, wrapped in paper and aged for up to eight weeks in cave-like conditions, first at Fen Farm, then at our Bermondsey maturation facility.

INGREDIENTS - Pasteurised Cow's Milk, Salt, Cheese Cultures, Animal Rennet
COAGULANT - Animal Rennet
MILK TREATMENT - Pasteurised
LOCATION - Bungay, Suffolk
MILK SOURCE - Own herd
BREED - Montbeliarde; Holstein
SEASON - All year
AVERAGE AGE - 2 Months
CHEESEMAKERS - Jonny Crickmore

In the early days of Neal's Yard Dairy, the only Brie they sold was imported from across the Channel. Today, the only Brie they sell is Baron Bigod, and for the past few years a dedicated group of French retailers have been buying this cheese from them.


Dorstone is made at Neal's Yard Creamery by Charlie Westhead – one of Neal's Yard Dairy's earliest employees. Neal's Yard Dairy started life as an actual dairy in Covent Garden, making yoghurts and crème fraiche and a few young cheeses, then as we grew Neal's Yard Creamery was established as a separate business. Named for the Dorstone Hill upon which Neal's Yard Creamery sits, Dorstone is made by setting the curd very slowly overnight then gently ladling it onto matting to allow it to drain before being mixed with salt and packed into moulds, giving it its signature fluffy texture and gentle acidity. After draining for 24 hours, the cheese is rolled in edible vegetable ash. The fine, whorl-like wrinkles are formed thanks to a yeast called Geotrichum which contributes to the cheese's distinctive taste.

INGREDIENTS - Pasteurised Goat's Milk, Salt, Animal Rennet, Cultures (contains trace cow's Milk)
COAGULANT - Animal Rennet
MILK TREATMENT - Pasteurised
LOCATION - Dorstone, Herefordshire
MILK SOURCE - Bought-in
SEASON - All year
AVERAGE AGE - 3-4 Weeks
CHEESEMAKERS - Charlie Westhead

Dorstone was conceived after Neal's Yard Creamery moved to Herefordshire in 1996 and was named after the local Dorstone Hill.

St Jude

Originally produced in Hampshire by cheesemaker Julie Cheyney, St Jude and its sister cheese St Cera are now made at Jonny Crickmore's Fen Farm Dairy in Suffolk, home of Baron Bigod. Julie is still the cheesemaker, but the milk comes from Fen Farm's herd of Montbéliarde cows: a French breed whose rich, high-protein milk is well suited for making cheese. The still-warm milk is piped straight from the milking parlour to the cheese room, where cultures are added. The curd for St Jude is set very slowly until Julie, judging by sight and feel, deems it to be ready, at which point it is carefully hand-ladled into small, delicate moulds.

INGREDIENTS - Raw Cow's Milk, Salt, Cheese Cultures, Animal Rennet
COAGULANT - Animal Rennet
LOCATION - Bungay, Suffolk
MILK SOURCE - Produced on-site
BREED - Montbeliarde; Holstein
SEASON - All year
AVERAGE AGE - 2-3 Weeks
CHEESEMAKERS - Julie Cheyney; Blake Bowden

The production of St Jude cheese involves a collaboration between cheesemaker Julie Cheyney who makes the cheese and Jonny Crickmore, producer of Baron Bigod, who provides the milk from his Montbéliarde cows.


Don't forget to fill in your pairings and tell us why you think they work - take a photo and share it to our socials using #SirenCheese and tagging @SirenCraftBrew. Our favourite pairings will win a free case of beers and a £20 voucher for Neals Yard Dairy!