Fermentation and Fromage
Cross-posted from my blog Paul and Amy on Beer
Last week my partner in crime, Paul, and I had a tree trimming party. To keep our party-goers sated, we wanted to offer up not just a selection of beers, but also a cheese plate that would complement our beverages. We experimented a bit and now we're happy to share the results of our incredibly hard work. These are our four favorite beer and cheese pairings; feel free to use them at your own holiday table this year:
by Berkshire Brewing Co.
Barleywine Style Ale - 9.5% ABV - South Deerfield, MA
Recently, beer blogger Winton White, a.k.a. Beerichi Tuba, and I decided to get a little experimental with beer and cheese pairing. Cypress Grove Chèvre, whose famed Humboldt Fog is celebrating 20 years, kindly supplied us with some amazing cheeses, and City Beer Store in San Francisco offered to host the tasting. We were joined by my longtime photography buddy, Gavin Farrington, and got to work. Beer and cheese at noon, that’s not so bad, is it? Here’s what we found:
The Cheese: This ultra-mellow sheep milk gouda is made in Holland especially for Cypress Grove. It is slightly buttery, with some light pear or apple notes, with a smooth, long finish.
Each September the Big E Fair is held in Springfield, MA, and for the past three years Molly Hopper has been invited to help a panel of six judges choose the best cheeses from a selection of over 150 from across the US. Hopper, who oversees the cheese program at Eastern Standard decided that she wanted to recreate the judging process at Eastern Standard.
How the Winners were Chosen
On a drizzly fall evening, Stephanie, Eilis, and I schlepped through Cambridge to visit central bottle wine + provisions, and let me tell you, it was worth braving the weather.
After a brief tour of the facilities, we were entertained with three separate wine and cheese pairings. Cabra La Mancha, an aged goat’s milk cheese with an unbelievable texture, was paired with a 2011 Muscadet. My favorite cheese of the three, the buttery and luscious Kind of Blue from Woodcock Farms, was paired with a sweet 2005 Vouvray. Finally, a garlicky, creamy Fromage Fort made from cheese odds and ends topped a soft baguette, and was paired with a 2011 Lagrein Rosé.
My first tasting of this round of Jasper Hill's Alpha Tolman Cheese was a quick, objective, utilitarian affair. A hectic schedule had kept me from truly enjoying this cheese. I promised myself that I would devote some time to relax and enjoy this cheese. Coincidentally I had promised my wife we would tour the Wollersheim Winery in Prairie Du Sac Wisconsin.