Local Cheesemakers Collaborate with Craft Brewers
Although many of the most popular washed-rind cheeses are the classic European varieties-- Epoisses from France, Le Chimay à la Bière from Belgium-- American cheesmakers are increasingly collaborating with local brewers to create unique new styles. In Pennsylvania, Keswick Creamery makes Tommenator, bathed in Troegenator double bock from nearby Troegs brewery; Calkins Creamery makes Cow Tipper, a Gouda washed and soaked with Yuengling Porter; and Yellow Springs Farm makes Yellow Brick Road, bathed in Victory Golden Monkey, just to name a few.
Alex Jones, product manager at Reading Terminal's Fair Food Farmstand, said using locally brewed beer is "just another expression of the cheese's terroir." Terroir is that hard-to-define measure of climate, grass and (since we're talking cheese) the barnyard that builds the character of a food product. While wine baths may be more traditional, beer's chemical makeup can add even more distinctive flavor to cheese.