Beer and Cheese Pairings May 17

debutante_cropOn Sundays we do lots of pairings. Sometimes I’m on the floor for six or seven hours hawking beer and cheese.

Naked Flock Cider and Provolone Piccante (5 year old Auricchio)
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve significantly bolstered our cider selection, and I figured this one fit a warm Sunday afternoon. It’s fermented with champagne yeast and sort of off dry, i.e. dry without making you pucker. Cheddar was far too easy a choice, and I figured Alpine cheeses would figure in the mix later (and as it turned out they came into play sooner and later), so I sought something hard and salty as a pairing partner. I found something with both qualities and its aromatic too. Although people seemed to like the cheese, I don’t think we sold any of it, but three or four bottles of the Naked Flock moved.

Evil Twin Molotov Lite and Rolf Beeler’s Hoch Ybrig
This pairing was driven by the cheese. As the hard cider/Provolone finished, I simply decided to grab the first piece of Alpine cheese that looked like it needed to be eaten today. Hoch Ybrig is a white wine wine washed Gruyere-ish cheese with deep nutty and caramel overtones. I figured this would pair well with an IPA. I was leaning toward Evil Twin Yang, but it already sells really well, so I opted for Molotov Lite, the easiergoing version of Molotov Cocktail. It’s a Double IPA brewed with mango and orange puree to highlight some of the intrinsic flavors of tropical fruit and citrus. Usually Hoch Ybrig flies out the door when I put it on the board, but it didn’t today (maybe the piece was too far gone; five cans of Molotov left the building so I can’t complain.

Local Option Morning Wood with Ford Farm Traditional English Cheddar
Morning Wood is an amber ale brewed with coffee and aged in oak barrels, so it has a hearty but smooth follow through. I figured this would be a good match for a grassy, complex cheddar. People thought so, though I don’t think I sold any of either, but the name of the beer always add a bit of mirth to where ever I’m standing.

Westbrook Gose with Beaufort
It took some determined lobbying but I finally got the Gose a dedicated shelf space. It’s already really popular but with the late afternoon growing humid, I decided it would refresh the clientele. The Beaufort is on sale, and I want at least one of the cheeses on the board per shift to be under $20/lb. The Beaufort, a slightly sweet, somewhat creamy and very very nutty French alpine, was $14.99/lb. We sold a ton of it, maybe eight pieces and a few cans of beer too. I suspect that at $17.99 a six pack, the Gose is something that people put on their agenda for next time.

Stillwater Debutante with Jasper Hill Conundrum
Usually for the last tasting I choose whatever appeals to me and there was a loose bottle of Ballast Point Sculpin calling my name, but I’d already done an IPA, so I opted for Debutante which we just added to replace a Stillwater Of Love and Regret (a saison brewed with lavender and chamomile). Debutante is a Biere de Garde brewed with honeysuckle hyssop and heather. To balance its sweet floral notes, I chose Jasper Hill Conundrum, a creamy cow’s milk cheese that has been washed in Eden Ice Cider as it ripens giving it a very subtle funk. I served it on what we call a Russian Focaccia, a thick pumpernickel bread with chopped onions. The pairing blew up big. Several pieces of cheese and probably eight bottles of beer hit the door.

Tomorrow I hope to break out a bottle of Slyboro Hidden Star. It’ll be fun to see where that leads.


About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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