Pronunciation: [<b> </b>BEER-kai-zer (-kah-zeh)]
Though literally translated as "beer cheese," there is no beer in Bierkäse. The name comes from the German practice of dipping the cheese into beer as it's eaten. This cheese originated in Germany but is also popular in surrounding countries (such as Austria and the Czech Republic) and is a local favorite in Wisconsin, where it's also produced. Bierkäse is made from pasteurized cow's milk, can be ripened for from 6 weeks to 3 to 4 months and, depending on its age, can range in texture from semisoft to semihard. Though there are regional differences, all Bierkäses are generally similar in style and comparable to limburger. The flavor can range from tangy and piquant when young to quite pungent with aging. This cheese is known by many names, the most common of which is simply beer cheese. See also cheese.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.