Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Beer & Cheese Pairing at Lardo
Lardo has made great strides in the last year going from a food cart to opening a brick and mortar location in SE and then opening a second location in downtown. Not content with "just that" the SE location has hosted multiple events for lovers of beer and all things pig. Yesterday they held a day-long Swine & Barley Wine Fest to celebrate the 144th birthday of Grigori Rasputin, "The Mad Monk."
The event started off with a beer and cheese pairing by Steve's Cheese and North Coast Brewing. It was billed a trio of pairings for the very reasonable price of $15. Doug, a North Coast rep, was on hand and acted as the gracious host while the last minute preparations were made before the tasting began. We were also treated to their house made head cheese, a delicious start to the event.
It turned out there were not three, but four pairings and the beer pours were generous. The cheeses were served family style, opening the door for exchanges about the pairings. I agreed with one of the other attendees that Acme IPA paired with Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam and the Old Rasputin on nitro paired with Epoisses de Bourgogne were the most successful pairings. The intense creaminess of the Mt. Tam, a triple brie, worked surprisingly well with the hops in the Acme IPA. Most delicious to my palate however was the way that the Old Rasputin on nitro, with its dry, coffee and dark chocolate flavors, brought out the barnyard characteristics of the cheese.
PranQster, a Belgian golden, is not a style I generally enjoy and I found the pairing with Neal's Yard Dairy White Cheddar to be improved with the addition of a bit of honey on the cheese. Both the Old Rasputin XV and the Wilde Wiede Gouda were tasty on their own but I would have preferred a more assertive cheese, perhaps a blue, to stand up to this big, barrel aged 11.9% beer.
Overall, it was a great first beer and cheese pairing event for Lardo. General Manager, Lucas, hinted that there may be more in the future...I sure hope so!