CALLING ALL BEER & CHEESE LOVERS!
By Patrick Evans-Hylton
I hosted our second Hops & Cheese: A Beer and Cheese Paring Adventure recently at the TASTE Greenbrier location in Chesapeake. Along with a bevy of beverages from Chesapeake-based Big Ugly Brewing were five different perfectly paired cheeses. Here’s the cheeses we sampled, with a little bit of information about each, along with my Big Ugly Brewing beer pairings, and some other pairing ideas, too.
DAUPHNE’S SNOWY CHEDDAR
What a lovely Wisconsin cheese this is, made with cow’s and goat’s milk giving a crumbly texture and rich, lemony flavor profile.
We paired it with Big Ugly’s Berliner Weisse, a lightly sour, fruity beer.
You can try it with other fruity beers, or perhaps a dry fruit cider. An amber brew would also work, as well as an off-dry white or medium red wine.
POINT REYES BLUE CHEESE
This is a delightful creamy blue cheese made from cows milk in California. It’s rich with fresh milk notes and lots of piquancy.
We paired it with Big Ugly’s Berliner Weisse, served with a shot of raspberry syrup mixed in.
You can try it with other fruity beers, sparkling wines, hearty red wines like cabernet sauvignon, or a decadent port.
GOAT LADY DAIRY SMOKEY MOUNTAIN ROUND
From North Carolina comes this full-of-flavor goat’s milk cheese that is hand-formed into a round (or log), dried, and lightly smoked over apple wood.
We paired it with Big Ugly’s Gose, a sour beer with some kick from ghost pepper-infused sea salt.
You can try it with a citrusy beer, perhaps a saison, or a medium-bodied pinot noir.
SARTORI BELLA VITANO - RASPBERRY
We love this semi-firm cow’s milk cheese from Wisconsin, and the creamy and nutty notes it offers. The purplish hue on the rind is from where the whole wheel of cheese is soaked in handcrafted Raspberry Tart Ale.
We paired it with Big Ugly’s Sour Cherry Stout, a big-flavored dark-hued beer with coffee and sour cherry nuances.
You can try it with porters or brown ales, as well as a Riesling, light Italian reds like Chianti, or a nutty sherry.
BEECHERS FLAGSHIP 1-YEAR AGED CHEDDAR
One of our favorite cheddar cheeses is this semi-hard Washington cow’s milk cheese (also made in New York State) that is aged to give it a complex, hearty flavor.
We paired it with Big Ugly’s Porter, a rich, robust beer dark in color with velvety chocolate flavor.
You can try it with a hefeweizen or IPA beer, or a Syrah.
Cheeses and a wide assortment of beers are available at each TASTE location.
Visit Big Ugly Brewing at 1296 Battlefield Blvd. S., Chesapeake. For more information, call 757-609-2739 or visit BigUglyBrewing.com
Patrick Evans-Hylton is TASTE’s resident foodie, hosting a number of delicious events throughout the year. The Johnson & Wales-trained chef and wine and cheese expert is an award-winning food journalist, covering tasty trends since 1995 in print, broadcast and electronic media. He is publisher of Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine; Subscribe Now.