My favorite beverage and quite possibly my favorite food, they go together so well. And finding a place that serves quality offerings of each, well, that’s about as good as it gets.
There are a few places in town, Buster’s on 28th and the Gnome pop to mind first, that carry excellent cheese and excellent beer. But did you know Faribault has a place, too? It’s The Cheese Cave, a retail cheese shop that also has a demonstration kitchen AND serves beer.
Last night was celebrity bartender night and since Mag is friends with one of the folks that would be pouring, we hopped in the car and headed down 35 with the McG’s. Bellying up to the bar behind the retail section of The Cave we found a great selection: four Summit brews on tap (Oatmeal Stout, Horizon Red, Maibock, and Extra Pale Ale), four Odell brews in bottles (5 Barrel Pale Ale, 90 Shilling, St. Lupulin, and IPA), and to appease the non-craft crowd, bottles of MGD. That’s a pretty good line up for a small place anywhere, much less in a town of less than 15,000 people.
I started off with the Oatmeal Stout – oh, the creamy goodness! But since the rest of the group was drinking Odell brews I finished my pint of creaminess and followed the herd. That was the right choice as I haven’t been to the liquor store since they hit the Minnesota market and I had forgotten just how much I enjoy their beer. The IPA particularly hit the spot (maybe it was the bitterness of the day) and who doesn’t enjoy a bucking elephant?
As would be expected from a place named The Cheese Cave, they have excellent cheese. They serve as a retail outlet for the Faribault Dairy Company (ya know, those folks who make St. Pete’s) but also offer a wide variety of cheeses from around the region and across the country. We got two of their cheese plates – one with three blue cheeses and one with, well, three other cheeses. Don’t get me wrong, the three I can’t remember were really good, too, but they were all white and since I didn’t lift one of their menus on the way out you’ll just have to trust me that it was worth getting.
I’ll beat you to the punch and apologize right now for writing as much or more about the cheese as the beer. And for not having any pictures. I know you like to look. Anyway, if beer and cheese is your thing, too, the short drive down 35 should be on your to do list.