Dutch Farmstead with Two Roads Brewing Company, Worker’s Comp Saison
All of our cheeses are “farmstead”, meaning that they are made and aged on the farm where the cows are pastured and milked. Dutch Farmstead cheese is an homage to that tradition of farmstead cheese making- rugged and straightforward. The winter batches have a distinctive creamy texture while summer batches are noted for sweet, grassy flavor profiles. Worker’s Comp Saison similarly gestures towards a tradition of beer-making linked to farming and highlights a variety of harvest grains like barley, wheat, oats and rye. The yeasty aromas of the beer- lemon peel, and tropical fruit- bring the subtle yeasty aromas we find on the rind of Dutch Farmstead to the foreground, while the effervescence of the beer cuts through the lush butterfat in the cheese. After a day of hard work in the yard or a long hike, enjoy this pairing with some local fruit and well-made bread.
Womanchego with Relic, Tropicale
Like its sheep's milk predecessor, Womanchego is rich and complex, with wonderful tangy acidity that is complemented by sweet fruit pastes, figs and toasted nuts. The cream present in Womanchego gives the cheese a more luxurious mouthfeel. A beer with nice hop character brings out the grassy flavor in the cheese. Tropicale does standard India Pale Ales one better, as it is brewed with honey, giving it an exotic floral nose and very nice slightly syrupy finish. It can stand-in for the jammy accompaniments often served along this style of cheese. As an appetizer with this delicious beer, serve slices of green apple stacked with Womanchego and a toasted cashew.
Vivace with Two Roads, Ol’ Factory Pils
We love to serve Vivace to our friends as part of an easy antipasti course. It’s slightly sharp flavor profile is a perfect match for Mediterranean favorites like marinated olives, charcuterie, fried long hot peppers, cracked pepper breadsticks and large wedges of tomato drizzled with oil. A classic pilsner, with its light body and clean finish is a perfect match for stronger flavors of this style of cheese board. We really love the Ol’ Factory Pils because its slightly peppery armoas complement Vivace’s strong spicy scent and bold salty finish. Throw a few cans of this beer in your cooler, set out a large slice of Vivace, and have your friends bring over their favorite antipasti.
Bloomsday with Stony Creek Brewery, Dock Time
Each weekend, customers come into our shop and tell us Bloomsday cheese is their favorite: it’s slightly sharp, wonderfully creamy, and eminently snackable. Delicious on its own, this cheese lends itself well to the classic salty-sweet approach to pairing. The rich rye flavors in Stony Creek’s Amber Ale, Dock Time, bring out the sweet, toasty notes of Bloomsday. Serve with salted peanuts, toasted hazelnuts and pretzels to enhance the savory character of the cheese. We like how drinkable this beer is at 4.8% ABV -- it’s a great one to sip during a lazy afternoon of reminiscing with friends.
Aged Bloomsday with Charter Oak Brewing Company, Royal Charter Pale Ale
Our Aged Bloomsday has very big aromas and flavors. We smell sweet hay and apricot when we inhale the cheese and taste very rich brown butter as the cheese sits and warms on our palate, as we chew we note the salty crystallization that it characteristic of a well-aged cheese. It can be difficult to find a beverage that will enhance and complement these complex notes without adding flavors that could detract or muddle them. Charter Oak Brewing Company makes an American Pale Ale that perfectly stands up to Aged Bloomsday without overwhelming it with bitter hoppiness. The Royal Charter Pale Ale perfectly balances bitter and sweet flavors making a crisp brew with full body. A sip of this beer cleans your palate and lets the flavors of this complicated cheese come into focus.
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!