Not many people realize that beer and cheese have far more in common. Both are simple and nutritious, each born of Graminae and carefully nurtured in an ancient fermentation process. Of course, the beer aficionado must be forgiving of the fact that cheese residue remaining on the lips will crash the finest head formations of any beer.

   The marriage of milk and grain is a melding of fat and carbohydrates--calories compounded by more calories. This is not a diet for the weak hearted nor for weight-loss champions.

  It is fascinating to consider that both beer and cheese are the result of ferments. That of beer produces alcohol, while that of cheese produces acid. Not to worry; both processes have matured over the centuries. Early beer was dark, overbearing and sometimes wild, whereas cheese evolved from a sour, semi-solid mess. Your beer, in those times, was limited to what your local brewer could produce, and the same was true of cheese. You took what you could get or could make yourself.

   Over the centuries, beer has become the sophisticated and wide-ranging delight that we know and love. In recent years, large companies may have reduced the brewing process to the lowest levels conceivable in their attempts to satisfy the most people possible. Despite that, modern beer is undergoing a revolution in which the old styles are being brought back and new styles are evolving.