St. Patrick's Day Pairing: Ale and Irish Cheddar

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TGIF! Here's another suggestion to kick off your St. Patrick's Day celebration: young Irish Cheddar (on sale for $6.99 at Murray's) and Arrogant Ale ($6.99, D'Agostino) from Stone Brewing Company in San Diego.

The ale is aggressive, arrogant even. But that's where the not-to-sharp Irish cheddar cheese, aged six to eight months, jumps in to mellow things out. Both the beer and the cheese have fruity flavors and slight carbonation of the beer lifts the fat of the cheese.

Don't let the copy on the beer bottle ("If you don't like this beer, keep it to yourself -- we don't wanna hear from any sniveling yellow beer-drinkin' whimps.") keep you away from this beer. Beer Advocate gave the beer a 90 and called the brew outstanding. This isn't a beer you'd drink all night, but pairing it with this cheese makes a strong start to a hearty dinner.

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