Many of us think of wine and cheese as two great tastes that go great together (like pizza and beer, milk and cookies). At Saturday night’s Taste Workshop celebrating American Raw Milk Cheeses, we were treated to something that was new for many of us—cheese with beer. Cheese expert (and Slow Food USA Board Member) Jeff Roberts and cheese expert Laura Werlin led us through the tasting of 7 cheeses and 6 craft ales.
The cheeses and their makers hailed from Alabama, Indiana, Oregon, Wisconsin, Vermont, and California; several of the producers were in the room with us and shared their processes, working with their sheep, Guernsey cows, Nubian dwarf goats etc. and crafting and shepherding (as it were) that milk into beautiful artisan cheeses. Ever seen a cheese that’s been rubbed with paprika? Hillis Peak Cheese from Pholia Farm Creamery was a first for me and I fell in love with its spicy, rich and creamy flavor. (n.b. it goes really well with Dogfish’s Midas Touch Golden Elixir).
Most surprising were the ways in which the cheeses changed in combination with the beer, and vice versa. 6 pieces of fantastic farmstead cheese + 7 diverse and delicious craft ales meant several interesting and surprising flavor combinations.