Mondays are tough nights to predict at Westside Market East Village. They are always busy and sometimes the customers are chill and interested in the world around them. Other times they can be hardcore New York Nasties. Last week was a case of the latter, so I braced myself this week, but I didn’t need to, it was the former all the way. We did one pairing all evening but it was well received with many issues raised by the tasters.
The pairing was Evil Twin Ron and the Beast Ryan, a saison brewed with wild yeast and Cremont, the disc made of a mixture of cow and goat’s milk. I chose the beer because it is oddly displayed right now. Our bomber section has been decimated so to fill space, the stock guy did three facings of Ron and the Beast Ryan, which makes it look like a featured beer. That’s as it should be to my mind. The beer is deliciously light in texture full of zesty overtones with a distinct grapefruity finish. I wouldn’t put the beer with an especially ripe Cremont, which has a potent zing in the middle and a powerful finishing kick. But when young, and these Cremont were especially young, the cheese is gently balanced with subtle herbal elements (I got overtones of sorrel and thyme). It has an alluring texture and smooth balance. I thought they’d go well together.
The clientele agreed. Many tried to suss out what the herbal overtones in the cheese said to them. Others were eager to discuss the relationship between the grapefruit finish in the beer versus the similar finish in some IPAs. It was a stimulating set of dialogues.
The first customer to the last board, a young African American man with two brainy looking kids in tow, tried the pairing and positively cooed, then announced that it was spectacular and told everyone within earshot that they needed to try the beer. That board finished in record time (probably under a minute). As I circled down the beer aisle, I saw him happily with one in hand and we stopped and chatted about our favorites from Evil Twin. It was his first time to the beer aisle but it won’t be his last. The beer program is rocking and we’re still just finding our crowd.