Cheese + WA Beer Tasting at Little Cheese Shop

Six pieces of cheese, six beers and 20 happy people at The Little Cheese Shop

 

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!

Little Cheese Shop - Cheese and WA Beer

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.

Jake at Little Cheese Shop event

Jake Brandish

Delice Cremiers + Feral White

Delice Cremiers

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

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 Fine Cheese Co. Cave Aged Cheddar and Eagle Bay ESBThe Fine Cheese Co. Cave Aged Cheddar | Cows Milk | UK

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 cheese

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 and 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.

wpid-wp-1433567798638.jpg

 *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

Beer + Cheese Masterclass

I spent all Saturday at the Fremantle Beer Festival and left just before 10pm with three new hats and a few new favourite beers. I think that easily qualifies as a successful day. During both days of the festival there were masterclasses on various beery topics and on Saturday Margi from Eagle Bay Brewing and I held a masterclass on beer and cheese.

I spent all Saturday at the Fremantle Beer Festival and left just before 10pm with three new hats and a few new favourite beers. I think that easily qualifies as a successful day.

During both days of the festival there were masterclasses on various beery topics and on Saturday Margi from Eagle Bay Brewing and I held a masterclass on beer and cheese.

You may already know this because I’ve rambled on about it on the blog a couple of times now or perhaps you were one of the smiling faces I saw in the crowd and if so, thank you very much.

The session attracted around 60 guests

we all basically hung out eating cheese and drinking beer for twenty minutes

The response seemed very positive which could be due to all our prior “research” resulting in fantastic pairings or maybe if you give people free beer and cheese they are inevitability going to be pretty happy. Either reason is fine by me.

Conducting some beer and cheese research with Margi at Eagle Bay Brewing
Conducting some beer and cheese research with Margi at Eagle Bay Brewing

Here are the beer and cheese pairings we put together –

Eagle Bay Vienna Lager + Beersine Vienna Cheese

A straight forward match showing off complementary flavours. The Vienna Lager boasts nice toffee aromas backed up by caramel flavours and it’s also a little earthy and nutty. The cheese, that’s made with the same beer, carries nice fruity slightly sweetish notes that go nicely with the caramel thing the beer has going on. The cheese is also suitably rich for the beer, neither dominating the other.

Eagle Bay Pale Ale + Maffra Aged Cheddar

Another great complementary pairing with the fresh fruity hops from the pale ale walking hand in hand with the fruity and slightly tangy cheddar.

Eagle Bay Kolsch + Meredith Ashed Chevre

This was my favourite pairing of the day. I first had this cheese at The Cheese Barrel in the Swan Valley and instantly thought how great it would be with a kolsch. Within days I had a growler of Colonial Kolsch and had located some ashed chevre and the result was beautiful. This was no different.

The tanginess and zesty of the goat’s cheese highlighted the fresh limey citrus characters in the beer

The match was also an excellent palate cleanser, the beer effortlessly cuts through the sinfully creamy cheese … god damn I love this pairing!

Meredith Ashed Chevre

Eagle Bay Single Batch IPA + Bassett Colston Stilton

Eagle Bay’s IPA has a great balance of caramely malt and fruity hops. The hops are a great contrast to the saltiness of the Stilton. This cheese, a cow’s milk from England, is sensational and we had people begging for more. It’s uber-creamy, rich and the texture makes you want to smear it on your hands and face.

That's one big hunk of stinky Stilton!

A few people at the masterclass asked where they could get the cheeses we tasted – Blue Cow have a store finder on their website that might be handy, you can check it out here and be sure to keep tabs on the Beersine website for all their tasty treats.

Thank you

Margi and the Eagle Bay Brewing team for providing the beer on the day and inviting me to be a part of this event;

Beersine for providing the Vienna Cheese, and

Blue Cow Cheese Company for providing the other three cheeses and being very good about giving us samples when we were constructing the menu.

Love your work!