Beer and Cheese Pairings Monday May 17

Monday night’s beer and cheese pairings were dictated by the fromage. I had hoped to shine a spotlight on the Slyboro Hidden Star, a bright delicious if ever so slightly sweet cider from Vermont, but the cheese manager had left a request that I highlight a new Aged Grafton 3 yearGoat Gouda called Gold Reserve. To my palate, Aged Goat Goudas have a distinctly toffee like finish. Hmmm, sweet with sweet didn’t appeal to me, so I postponed the cider and grabbed a bottle of the Grimm Shapeshifter, a Scotch Ale brewed with tart cherries and aged in brandy barrels. Yep, there was a lot going on in that beer: some tang overtones, some tart ones too and a bit of sweetness in the background. I was happy with the pairing; the two items connected in some ways and contrasted in others. I felt people’s palates would be duly entertained.
The only drawback was that it was Monday and people nearly pushed me out of their way and largely ignored the goodies I was offering. Twice I had to pour beer out that had gone flat in the sample cups. I thought that the back story of the beer (it’s made by a Brooklyn based husband/wife pair of gypsy brewers) would be an attraction but I forgot; NYers aren’t listening. OTOH, the dozen or so people that did try it were blown away. I had several new best friends, and we moved about four bottles of beer (not bad given that a. it’s Monday and b. it’s $18.99 for a 22 oz bottle). A few of the people took pictures of the label for future reference. One guy who suffered sticker shock bought a mixed four pack of Stillwaters.
About a half hour before I called it a day, I still had about seven ounces of beer left. We were down to just a few pieces of the goat gouda, so I paired the Shapeshifter with Grafton 3 year old cheddar. Simple straightforward sharpness. That went over very well too, at least to those who bothered.


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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