Dairyere with Broad Brook Brewing Company, Broad Brook Ale
Made in the style of a Gruyere, a bite of Dairyere brings to mind caramelized onion jam atop buttered toast. With its sweet and savory flavor profile, this cheese is evocative of the best comfort foods. It’s not uncommon for people to taste it and open up their favorite food memories, “my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese”, or “the first time I made French onion soup”. We like this cheese with a similarly rich and sturdy beer, and Broad Brook Ale has sweet malty notes that wonderfully complement the lactic sweetness of the cheese. The toffee aromas on the beer also remind us of happy memories making cookies or meeting a friend for coffee. One can also new memories with this cheese and beer pairing: maybe serving it at Thanksgiving as part of a dessert course with fresh biscuits and spiced nuts, or bringing it in a gift basket with local honey to new neighbors.
Black Ledge Blue with The Olde Burnside Brewing Company Dirty Penny Ale
Our Black Ledge Blue takes everything that is special about a British Style Blue cheese (piquant bluing, dry crumbly texture, sweet lactic finish), and enhances all of it with a luscious buttery texture that is uncommon in blue cheese. For this reason it’s wonderful as a dessert course alongside gingersnaps and creamed honeys. A traditional pairing would be sweet ports and rich red wines, but we like it with smoky porters as well. The Olde Burnside Brewing Company makes a Black & Tan style beer that blends their porter with their well-known Ten Penny Ale. We wondered if these two local items, with their shared metallic flavors could work well together, and lo and behold, a strange alchemy did occur. Tasted together, this cheese and beer bring out the best in each other; a delicious, smoky delicacy that reminds us as much of fireside poetry readings as raucous bonfires.
Hooligan with New England Brewing Company, 668
Of all of the combinations of beer and cheese we tasted to compile this list, this pairing is the most informed by the rich histories of these two agricultural products. In the Middle Ages, monasteries in Europe were centers of agricultural development- fields of cereal grains were used to produce bread and beer. Cattle were used to work the land, therefore, a large amount of fresh milk was seasonally available. Monks focused on cheese making as a way to preserve milk through the winters. Many developments were made in cheese and beer making and unique styles began to emerge. Monks began experimenting with washing cheese in whey, brine and beer mixtures. We now understand that this process affects how the yeasts develop in the cheese and explains why the cheeses were so delicious with the beers and breads that had similar yeast development. The pairing of a pungent cheese with fresh bread and yeasty beer is popular to this day. New England Brewing Company’s 668 is a uniquely American take on the Strong Beligian Ale style that developed at that time. Strongly yeasty and wildly aromatic this beer is hazy in the glass and smells of honey, clove, black pepper and lemon peel. It is a perfect match for our Hooligan cheese, which is washed in a brine and whey solution, and also has a strong yeasty aroma redolent of mushroom and wet hay. This pairing is a true homage to monastic traditions of cheese and beer making!
We hope you enjoy our suggested pairings, but we are always in pursuit of new, evocative combinations! Share pictures, tasting notes, and stories of your favorite complements to our cheese and we'll archive them here on our site!