Perfect Trifectas: Gourmet Cheese, Burgers, and Brew Match-Ups

When the weather gets warmer, one of our favorite things to enjoy is a cheesy burger paired with a cold brew. And while the traditional burger with American cheese and whatever beer is on hand absolutely hits the spot on most occasions, sometimes we like to take things up a notch and explore other pairing possibilities.

This week, three Oliver’s employee owners from the Meat, Cheese, and Wine Departments got together and created four tasty burger trifectas for you to try – and the line-up even includes a Portobello burger option. You’re welcome!

Of course, all great food begins with great ingredients. Our Oliver’s Own Burger Patties are all made fresh daily in our Meat Departments in a rotating selection of flavors using Oliver’s Own 100% Choice Angus Beef and other high-quality ingredients. Our grass fed Beef Burger is from Stemple Creek, an outstanding purveyor focused on quality and regenerative agriculture located in nearby Tomales.

Our Gourmet Cheese Department is your next stop for when you’re craving that melted perfection in a burger experience. Our Gourmet Cheese team is knowledgeable and passionate about both our domestic and imported cheese selection, and brought some outstanding options to the table for this pairing.

Last but not least, we need some fantastic beverages to make all of the ingredients come together and ‘sing’. Our beer selection is a celebration of all the talent and innovation that local, national, and international producers have to offer, and of the endless variety that keeps life interesting. There were plenty of great options to choose from for this challenge.

So how do these pairings come together? Oliver’s Gourmet Cheese Coordinator Wade Johnson sheds some light on the process:

“The goal of each pairing starts with an idea and theory based on previous pairing experience and understanding of flavor affinities,” Wade explained. “We try it out, take notes, and then discuss. A group is needed for this to make sure palates align. Individual tastes can really vary, but when you get all three to agree, you know you have something.”

The Tasting Process:

Is there a right or wrong way to evaluate a food and beverage pairing? “You always taste the beverage first to get a sense of style and structure,” Wade explains. “Next, you taste the dish, then another taste of the beverage, and wait for the finish of the flavors as they come together.”

How do you know if a pairing is successful?  Wade suggests looking at how the flavors mingle and whether they provide a unique and special experience. A successful pairing should elevate all of the individual ingredients to be better together than they are individually.

Challenge Goals:

Wade noted that the goal of this challenge was to showcase and then elevate our classic and proprietary burger patties using cheese and beer. The Portabella Burger was added to the line-up to throw the tasters a curve ball!

The Match-Ups:

This week, try these pairings and get inspired to create your own — with a little help from Oliver’s.

Note: All quoted prices are in effect from May 17-23, 2023 at all four Sonoma County Oliver’s Market locations.

Pairing One

  • Oliver’s Own Fire Roasted Burger Patty +
  • Luigi Guffanti Mozzarella di Bufala +
  • Third Street Aleworks Stallion Italian-Style Pilsner

Tasting Notes: “The mild, rich, milky qualities of this extraordinary buffalo mozzarella mellow out the intensity of the burger, perfectly balancing out the savory and spicy elements of the patty, setting the stage for this distinctively crisp pilsner to shine in the finish.”

Featured Ingredients:

  • Oliver’s Own Gourmet Burger Patties, $6.99/lb.

The Fire Roasted Burger seasonings include Garlic, Basil, Pepper, Sea Salt, Cayenne, Anise Seed, and Paprika.

  • Luigi Guffanti Mozzarella di Bufala, 8 oz. Container, $9.99/ea.
  • Third Street Aleworks Stallion Italian-Style Pilsner, 4 pack/16 oz. Cans, $11.49+CRV

Pairing Two

  • Oliver’s Own Stemple Creek Grassfed Beef Patty +
  • Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel +
  • East Brother Oatmeal Stout

Tasting Notes: “Wagon Wheel, a local raclette-style cheese, tames the natural gaminess in the grassfed beef leading to a well-rounded, intense, undeniably succulent, burst of umami in the flavor profile. East Brother Oatmeal Stout rounds out the bite famously with its rich mouthfeel, malty notes, and notes of oatmeal in the finish.”

Featured Ingredients:

  • Oliver’s Own Stemple Creek Grassfed Beef Patty, $6.99/lb. – LOCAL
  • Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel, $21.99/lb.
  • East Brother Oatmeal Stout, 4 pack/16 oz. Cans, $9.99+CRV

Pairing Three

  • Oliver’s Own Breathalizer Burger Patty +
  • Xavier David Affineur de Goǔt Comté +
  • Seismic Red Lager

Tasting Notes: “The burger and cheese play off each other beautifully, leading to flavor notes of candied walnuts and bacon. This desserty delight is perfectly rounded out by the roasted malt profile of Seismic Brewing Company’s Red Lager.”

Featured Ingredients:

  • Oliver’s Own Breathalizer Burger Patty, $6.99/lb.

The Breathalyzer Burger patties contain Chopped Garlic, Diced onion, and Bacon.

  • Xavier David Affineur de Goǔt Comté, $25.99/lb.
  • Seismic Red Lager, 4 pack/16 oz. Cans, $11.99+CRV

Pairing Four

  • Portobello Mushroom +
  • Luigi Guffanti Gorgonzola Dolce +
  • Otherwise Brewing Naturally Gluten Free Meringue & Tang Sour Ale

Tasting Notes: “The portobello mushroom paired perfectly with gorgonzola dolce, boasting earthy flavor tones and subtle notes of sweetness. The tartness and crisp acidity of Otherwise Brewing Naturally Gluten Free Meringue & Tang Sour Ale cut through the butterfat perfectly, leading to a finish reminiscent of lemon and vanilla.”

Featured Ingredients:

  • Organic Portobello Mushrooms, Grown in Canada, $5.99/lb.
  • Luigi Guffanti Gorgonzola Dolce, $21.99/lb.
  • Otherwise Brewing Naturally Gluten Free Meringue & Tang Sour Ale, 4 pack/16 oz. Cans, $17.99+CRV

Burger Season Checklist

In addition to these four amazing pairings, our buying team has lined up some great deals on everything you need for the coming grilling season, so check out this list and see what else you want to pick up this week at Oliver’s. (Pro Tip: If you have not tried our Baked Potato Salad, this is your week to do so!)

  • Pierre Hamburger Buns, Plain or Seeded, 7-8.8oz package, $4.99
  • Oliver’s Own Gourmet Burger Patties, Selected Varieties, $6.99/lb., Local
  • Oroweat Hot Dog or Hamburger Buns, 8ct package, $3.49
  • Kingsford Matchlight Briquets, 12lb bag, $11.99
  • Oliver’s Own Baked Potato Salad, $7.99/lb., Local
  • Organic Green and Red Leaf Lettuce, grown in California, $1.99/ea
  • Clover Sonoma Organic Sliced Cheese, Selected Varieties, 6oz package, $4.49, Local, REV
  • Nixie Sparkling Water, Selected Varieties, 8 pack/12oz cans, $4.99 +crv, REV
  • Hilary’s Veggie Burgers, Selected Varieties, 4 count box, $3.99, REV
  • Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Selected Varieties, 13oz bag, $4.99, REV

Useful Tips

How do you make the most of your Oliver’s Own Burger purchase? We have the recommended cooking instructions here. And what about a Portobello Burger? How exactly do you prepare the one featured here? Wonder no more: click here for the recipe! Looking for a unique topper for your burger? Break away from traditional raw or grilled onions and consider using green onions featured on ad this week to prepare Grilled Green Onions. 

Cheers to the coming season of delicious grilling, cool beverages, and warm evenings ahead!


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  1. Wow, that Portobello/Gorgonzola sounds great!

    Comment by Keith Rhinehart on May 17, 2023 at 11:48 am

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