This past week, beer blogger Winton, a.k.a. Yuichi Tuba and I were invited by the folks at Redwood Hill Farm to a little beer/cheese pairing party at the creamery. After braving near rush hour traffic northbound out of San Francisco, we met up with Scott and David Bice, along with other members of their sales and admin team.
The beers on the menu were:
6) Hecht Echlenferla Eiche Doppelbock
The cheeses up for tasting were:
1) Original chèvre
2) Roasted chili pepper chèvre
3) Three peppercorn chèvre
4) Garlic chive chèvre
5) California Crottin
Winton and I arrived at the tail end of the tasting session, so we ZOOMED through our tastings super fast! Like, I tasted all those cheeses with almost all the beers in about 30 minutes. Here’s the run down.
For many of the fresh chèvres, the 1809 Berliner was a great pair. Redwood Hill Farm’s chèvres are all very light and airy in texture, with a pronounced citrus freshness that complemented the lemony 1809 so well! The Le Merle Saison paired nicely with the roasted chili chèvre—it too is a floral, citrus-y beer that complements the chèvres in general, but the chilis brought out an extra sweetness in the beer. The Doppelbock went well with the three-chili and chive/garlic chèvres, bringing out an almost leathery, decadent aspect in each cheese. It was pretty extraordinary.
The California crottin was a fun one to pair. It is quite flavorful, with a lot of barnyard/earthy qualities. I found it went best with the Le Merle saison. I worried the cheese would overpower the beer, but it worked! Both managed to maintain their qualities and accentuate those of the pairing. How beautiful!
I wasn’t really a huge fan of Bûcheret before; I just hadn’t given it much thought as a cheese. It’s a good thing people can change! One of RHF’s sales team had the most seductive description for its fresh, lingering flavor. She said it was like a blossoming 16-year-old girl. I was told not to chew it, to let it just sit and bloom on the tongue. Good advice! The Bûcheret ended up being my new favorite of the evening, wonderfully complex and refreshing, with some citrus, flowers, and fresh grass notes. For the contrast, I enjoyed the 1809 with this cheese, but the Telegraph California ale worked nicely as well.
The last cheese, Camellia, didn’t really get my full attention. The other folks were about ready to call it a day, and I needed to leave before they turned out the lights! I found the Doppelbock brought out an intense sweetness in the cheese, which I didn’t like, but someone with a sweet tooth might! The other beer that seemed to go well was the Chimay, although I wasn’t able to write down any notes as to why. If any of you readers recreate this pairing, share your notes!
Thanks, David Bice, for inviting Winton and myself to the creamery! We had so much fun at this tasting, and can’t wait to do it again in 2013!