Sunday, February 1, 2015

Beer & Cheese - A Game Day Winner

Today's the Super Bowl, which of course means you'll be having some beer and in case you haven't figured out some eats to go along with that beer, let me suggest a very easy solution: cheese.

Before, all nicely laid out, waiting to be tasted.
Friday night we got together with some friends at our usual haunt for an informal evening of beer and cheese pairing. We each picked up a variety of cheeses and throughout the night picked out beers that either we wanted to try on their own or ones that we thought would go well with our selection of cheeses. The beer that paired well with the most number of cheeses was Calapooia Brewing Chili Beer. Mag picked this with the idea that it would pair well but we were surprised by just how well it went with so many, including Irish Murray's cheddar and our "white trash" cheese entry of the evening, Trader Joe's Pub Cheese cheddar with horseradish. The creaminess of the Irish cheddar nicely balanced the spice of the beer and Chris found the combo to be reminiscent of nachos.

The caramelized onion cheddar was the most difficult cheese to find a mate for but eventually we did in Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin. Sounds like an odd combo, right? Sam may have described it best, "It's like Burger King...when Burger King was good."

A couple of the "of course" pairings we enjoyed were Roughtail Coffee Tsar (part of a just-arrived shipment from a beer buddy) Russian Imperial Stout and Rogue Creamery blue cheese, Uinta Birthday Suit Sour Farmhouse Ale and blueberry stilton, which tasted like blueberry crumble, and cranberry stilton with both Ex Novo Gose Either Way blackberry gose and Trinity Brewing Chilly Water baltic porter.

So whether you want to have a more organized beer and cheese plan or just pick out some of either that you like and have at it, it's pretty hard to go wrong. You don't even have to go to a great cheese shop (although that's always fun to do); all of the cheeses we picked up came from Fred Meyer and Trader Joe's.

After, the table scattered with remaining bits.

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