I recently had the pleasure to present at the first Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest. What a fantastic way to spend a cold Saturday! There was a great crowd that mingled happily among an even mix of cheese and beer producers. There were about 20 booths with a cheese maker and a brewer standing side-by-side. It made for easy cheese nibbling and beer tasting. Between presentations, the Cork & Bottle String band kept the mood lively.
We did our standing-room-only show with Furthermore Beer. People seemed to love our pairings. We talked about complementing and contrasting flavors. Beer can tease out more flavor from chocolate and chocolate can enhance or liven-up beer. It’s always fun to try new artisan beers and imagine the possibilities. There are some amazing brewers all around the state that are worth exploring.
The favorite Furthermore pairing was the Pepitas Bonbon with Make Weight, a triple pale ale. The beer brought out the nuttiness of the pepitas. The ale’s sweetness was also a prefect complement for the Caramel Sprinkled with Grey Salt – enveloping the caramel as its salt and spices bought out the best flavors in the beer. Really great!
Our Blueberry truffle and the Three Feet Deep, dry Irish-style stout, was also a winner. They just played so well together, like two kids holding hands, running down a hill and building up an exhilarating momentum. The flavors just built off of each other: the earthiness of the berries calmed down the beer’s smokiness and the smoky beer really pumped up the blueberry.
As for the cheese, you can find my thoughts on some great cheese and chocolate pairings on the Cheese Cupid site.