Another random weekend, another beer and cheese pairing. Sometimes there is nothing better.
Cheeses: Crave Brothers Petit Frere: An American interpretation of a French style cheese. It’s one of those cheeses with a rind that smells funny, but those are sometimes the best cheeses. I can’t really tell you what to look for because the conventional wisdom is that the cheese needs a little funk. Try to ask the seller if you have questions and it all depends on how much you want to explore.
Beehive Barely Buzzed: Hey, I know I post about this cheese a lot and, sorry, I love this cheese. Its funky flavor profile with the coffee crust allows it to pair with a lot of different beers. I know what I like.
Trader Joe’s Double Cream Brie: I haven’t really done a lot of French style cheeses, so this if my first foray into Brie with beer. I chose Trader Joe’s because I enjoyed their Double Cream Gouda so much.
Beer #1: Maui Brewing Company & DogFish Head Collaboration Liquid Breadfruit
I was intrigued by this beer for several reasons. The yeast was taken from a peach farm close to DogFish Head; the beer uses the starchy fruit known as bread fruit (which I have never had so I am basing the fruit on the beer); and papaya seeds. Sweet, nice acidity from the seeds and overall nice fruit character.
Crave: The cheese is creamy and really allows you to sense the fruity character of the beer. You also sense a peachiness to the beer. The two pair well and don’t overtake one another.
Brie: The brie brings a lot of acidity to the beer and the beer already has a lot of acidic fruitiness. They clash and you really do sense the breadfruit more but it can be a little clawingly sweet and acidic.
Buzzed: The coffee really does a good job bringing out the toastiness of the papaya seeds. I also really taste the sweetness of the fruit and it brings out the bright acidity without overwhelming the palate. This cheese always seems to do well with every beer it pairs with.
Beer #2: Troegs Nugget Nectar
This is sometimes billed as the cheaper Hopslam. There are some similarities in that this beer has a nice sweet tropical fruit flavor and aroma that is derived from an avalanche of hops. This beer has also been restricted by stores. I happen to find this beer a little sweeter and has a stronger citrus/piney note.
Crave: These two just don’t work together at all. The buttery cheese didn’t mix with the citrusy strong beer. This cheese clearly doesn’t go well with overly hoppy beers.
Brie: The beer really pairs well with this. The acid notes of the brie actually are softened by the fruitiness of the beer. It has a nicer butter note which was missing from the other cheese. Again not an ideal pairing but a better attempt that worked with the intense hop flavor.
Barely Buzzed: The cheese has a nice firmness that melts into a good creamy cheddar like flavor. Very rich. The coffee crust doesn’t really work well with it. This may not be the ideal pairing beer for these cheeses.
Beer #3: Uinta Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
Vice rich licorice and bourbon aroma. This beer is very hoppy and malty but doesn’t overly feel like a barleywine. It’s a strong beer that opens up as you sip it longer and let it warm up to room temperature.
Crave: The beer clashes at first but brings a rich hoppy flavor that becomes a creamy flavor with some nice sweetness and rounded hop character.
Brie: The brie is nice but the beer has a big flavor which overruns the cheese. These don’t mix well at all. You spend most of the time trying to find flavors to make sure that you are tasting a beer and a cheese.
Buzz: The coffee and lavender with the hops and malt to bring out a nice combination of the sweetness and the lavender really mixes well with the bitterness of the hops. The bourbon character really has been lost in these cheeses. I have noticed barrel aged beers don’t always work well with cheese. But you have to keep trying until you find something that you like.
Anyway, get out there and enjoy the beer in cheese out there and stay tuned for more blog posts.