Beer and Cheese Pairings July 31


Usually by the time customers arrive at the Westside Market, East Village on Friday late afternoon/early evening, they are already in weekend mode. I’ve learned to take advantage of this chill by offering pairing with good talking points. Unlike Mondays when people roar through the shop on the dead run, Friday’s pace is closer to a saunter, and they have time to sample and listen.

I chose the Brooklyn Brewery Local 1 for the beer. It isn’t new, but I fear it’s getting overlooked amid the onslaught of bombers we’ve been bringing in. It’s also a great gateway brew for wine drinkers who think they don’t like beer. I was all ready to talk about the history of the leading local brewery or even explain secondary fermentation, but the cheese stole the attention. It was Brillat Savarin, the French triple cream with an extraordinary literary pedigree. It was named for the author of the Physiology of Taste by Pierre Androuet, the author of the Guide du Fromage (yes he was also a cheesemonger).

When the Brillat ran out, I switched to Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert, a super buttery sheep cheese, and the talking points became about how the local-ness of the pairing. I told people what an easy drive it was to visit both producers in a weekend, though I wouldn’t want to be behind the wheel after a few glasses of Local 1.

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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