11/01/2012 05:11 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Learning How to Drink at a Beer and Cheese Party

I was recently invited to attend a "new" spin on an old favourite -- a beer and cheese tasting, as opposed to a traditional wine and cheese party. I say "new" with qualifiers because of course both beer and wine have existed since the beginning of time.

First up was Molson M paired with Oka Classique. This was my first taste of Molson M and I appreciated its creaminess and lack of bitterness. The selected cheese complemented the sweet, maltiness of the beer. The carbonation of the beer cut through the richness of the cheese and cleansed the palate. I intend to remember this for my next formal dinner party and surprise guests with a glass of beer instead of the sorbet cleansing course.

Rickard's White is one of my favourite "boutique" beer. This is perhaps because I am drawn to the fresh, crisp taste of cilantro and the beer is fashioned with ground coriander which is the seed of the herb. The result is a drink with a slight spiciness and a refreshing finish. An intense, yet velvety Brie was served as a complement.

Last, but not least, was my favourite pairing: Molson Canadian 67 Sublime with a spicy Monterrey Jack. Since I have long been a lover of light Mexican beer with a wedge of lime squeezed into the bottle, this beer is my new "go to." The hint of natural citrus flavour in the beer is the perfect way to cool and refresh your mouth after a hot taste of the jalapeno infused cheese. If you close your eyes, you could be lying under a palapa on a Mexican beach.

Throughout this tasting, we were hosted by a top female executive from Molson's (her job title is VP of Beer Reverence -- how awesome is that?) who coached us to raise our glass to a light source in order to observe the colour, clarity and foam of the beer. Then to bring the glass to our neck level and fan it right and left under our noses (more than anything, this looks really cool)! Next, we were encouraged to discover the first scents of the elixir and then to release even more aromas from the hops and malts by swirling our glasses to release additional carbonation. Our noses were plunged deep into our glasses for the next step, to take in a long, deep smell. And finally, it was time to drink!

We were instructed to allow enough beer to cover our entire tongue and taste receptors, to keep our mouths closed and breath through our noses (the opposite of swimming lessons). This is called "quaffing". And thankfully, we were not instructed to spit but to ensure that the beer flowed down the back of our mouths where there are other important taste receptors. Oh yes, and then we were to breathe. "Quaff, swallow, breathe."

Our son is studying to become a brew-master and is already a beer connoisseur. I hope that he will be impressed by his ole Mom and her newly acquired swilling techniques.

Kath's quote: "He was a wise man who invented beer."-Plato

Please come visit my blogs: Food Musings and Boom Chica Boom

24 Best Brewpubs In Canada