Beer and Cheese Pairings August 7


Eight years ago or so, when I did my first cheese and beer class I paired all of the goat’s milk cheeses with wheat beers. What I did Friday night illustrated how much more I know about cheese and especially about beer.

The cheese people gave me several small pieces of Tomme de Bordeaux to sample. It’s a firm French goat’s milk cheese that is rubbed in herbs as it ripens and has a crust of herbs and juniper berries. It’s from the aging caves of the French affineur, a master of aging cheese, Jean D’Alos. I was thrilled; it’s one of the best cheeses in the case at Westside Market, East Village, and I now know that it would pair with several different beers.

We led off by pairing the cheese with Good Juju, a light ale from Left Hand Brewing that infuses the beer with ginger. The peppery spice of the ginger contrasted nicely with the smooth herbal effect of the cheese. Next up was Debutante, the Stillwater/Brewer’s Art Bierre De Garde which is brewed with hyssop, heather, and honeysuckle. The floral sweetness in the finish of the beer was a good match for the texture of the cheese. Finally, we finished with Ryan and the Beaster Bunny from Evil Twin; it’s a saison that I think is brewed with honey and it has a nice grapefruit overtone in the finish.

I figured I’d spend a good bit of time discussing affineurs and the difference they make in a cheese’s flavor, but the beers stole the show. Also, usually on a slow Friday afternoon, I’m lucky to make it through one bottle. This Friday we sampled three. Looking back, I see similarities between the beers. I think if there’s more Tomme de Bordeaux to sample on Sunday (and there might be the herbs mold quickly), then I’ll put with a Brett IPA or something a tad more ambitious.

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.
This entry was posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, gourmet, whiskey, wine. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Beer and Cheese Pairings August 7

  1. trucvert says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun! “The cheese people” – the best people to know! 😉

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