There is something magical when beer and cheese come together. Both have a huge variety when it comes to flavour from nuttiness, zesty citrus, juicy stone fruit, roast, chocolate and the list continues. It’s not a wonder these two are such good friends. Sure some people will tell you wine and cheese are better but really it’s just a friendship between those two; beer and cheese are true love, the ultimate couple.
My love of beer and cheese is probably fairly well known by now, particularly if you’ve been generous with your time to spend a little of it on my blog or following me on social media. Knowing this you can imagine my disappointment at missing out on earlier beer and cheese tastings at Bayswater’s Little Cheese Shop but a few Saturdays ago I finally got to one.
Little Cheese Shop isn’t just a cute name, it’s certainly small so their events are limited to 20 people. The event is set out like a cocktail style function but there are some seats available if you wish. It’s a nice informal approach and the best way to use the small space. Besides, if it were packed with furniture there would be less room for cheese and that would be absurd!
The tasting went for about two hours across six pairings put together by both Geoff, owner of Little Cheese Shop, and Jake Brandish, former brewer at Nail Brewing, home brewer and all round good man.
All the beers were from local WA brewers and the original five pairings were extended to six because Geoff and Jake liked different beers for one of the cheeses so decided to present both.
Delice Cremiers + Feral White
Delice Cremiers | Cows’ Milk Cheese | Burgundy, France
Just like beers, sometimes you get introduced to a cheese that blows you away and you know that cheese will always be one of your favourites. This is such a cheese.
The name Delice Cremiers translates to ‘delight of the cheese maker’ and I think in this case the cheese maker would have been a little more than just delighted. This cheese is freakin’ incredible. Stupidly creamy, rich and indulgent. My kind of cheese.
This was my favourite match for the night and certainly quite surprisingly as I don’t think I would have thought to put such a rich cheese with a more delicate beer like Feral White, a Belgian Wit. There was a beautiful harmony of the cheese’s rich sweetness with the beer’s soft fruity flavours and light spices.
Delice Cremiers + Eagle Bay Pale Ale
As you can probably tell from the heading here is where Geoff and Jake couldn’t decide on one beer to present with the Delice Cremiers so we got to try it with the Eagle Bay Pale Ale as well.
An American style pale ale so it’s big on the tropical fruit and hop bitterness so it was more of a contrast than a compliment. An interesting match but I’d have to say Feral one the day on this occasion.
Roucoulons + Last Drop Hefeweizen
Roucoulons | Cows Milk | France
This was a nice match, the cheese is more on the mild side, a little mushroomy, a little earthy and a bit fruity. Overall complicated enough to match the Last Drop Hefeweizen but also soft enough not to overpower it.
The Fine Cheese Co. Cave Aged Cheddar + Eagle Bay ESB
The cheese is matured in natural caves in Mendip Hills here Somerset, UK. Geoff described it as a “classic style cheddar”. I found it sharp, full and rich and a good match to the soft toffee malts and peppery hops of the Eagle Bay ESB.
Tuma Persa + Feral Hop Hog
Tuma Persa | Cows Milk | Italy
This cheese is rubbed in black pepper and comes from Sicily, Italy. The cheese reminded me of a pecorino in that it tasted very sharp and bitey. Many people at the tasting very much liked the pairing but it wasn’t for me. It’s that the great thing about food and booze, everyone is different! Personally I found the big hop flavour of the beer too similar to the bite of the cheese so it felt like sharp on top of sharp. I had some of the previous cheese, the cheddar, left over and quite enjoyed that with the Hop Hog.
Colston Basset Shropshire Blue + Nail Oatmeal Stout*
Colston Basset Shropshire Blue | Cows Milk | England
Ah, magic. My second favourite, and it was a close finish to the end, pairing for the night. This is one of Geoff’s favourite blues and once you have it you’ll see why. A buttery, earthy and slightly sweet blue and yes it’s a funny orange colour. That comes from the use of annatto, a natural pigment from South America. This blue against the chocolate, roast and coffee elements in Nail Oatmeal Stout was simply beautiful.
*As of 1 June 2015 I started working for Nail Brewing however I had no involvement in organising this event, beers were chosen by co-host for the night, Jake Brandish