A cow's milk cheese, produced in the U.S. since the 1930's, that is made into a brick cheese with qualities of several German and Swiss varieties. Introduced as liquor laws were becoming more lenient, the cheese was named for and used as a snack with beer as it became legal to consume alcohol during the 1930's. Hence, the name "beer cheese" or "beer kaese," which is commonly shortened to beerkaese. This cheese is shelf cured and surface-ripened, allowing the outer rind to become a yellowish tan in color while the cheese develops a cream to ivory coloring. Beerkaese has a soft texture that provides an earthy to mild nutty flavor with a distinctive aftertaste. As it ages, it develops a pungent aroma and a much stronger flavor. It can be served as a snacking cheese, a sandwich cheese with hearty breads such as rye and pumpernickel, or as a dessert cheese accompanied with hearty beers or wine.
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