Manchego + Beers

I have beer and cheese on the brain, even more so than normal, so over the weekend I tried a couple of beers with some manchego cheese …

This weekend, November 15 & 16, is the Fremantle Beer Festival on the Fremantle Esplanade Reserve. Not only does the weekend long festival bring together the expansive list of WA breweries but also showcases a range of Master Classes that are all included in the festival entry ticket.

Check out all the Master Classes happening at The Fremantle Beer Festival

One such Master Class will be on Saturday at 3pm called We Love Beer and Cheese hosted by myself and Margi, retail and marketing manager for Eagle Bay Brewing. Seats are limited to 50 and guests will be given beer and cheese in return for having to listen to two rather enthusiastic ladies of beer talk about the things they love.

It’s no wonder that I have beer and cheese on the brain, even more so than normal, so over the weekend I tried a couple of beers with some manchego cheese …

Manchego - nutty, grassy, fruity and a little oily.
Manchego – nutty, grassy, fruity and a little oily.

Manchego – a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese with a distinctive zig zag pattern on the rind. Find out more about this tasty variety here.

Bridge Road Enigma New World Pilsner

“This pilsner has been brewed as an Australian take on the craft pilsners of NZ, a light bodied lager, heavily hopped with the Australian hop variety Enigma”

Enigma is a new Australian hop variety you may be familiar with from the locally brewed collaboration between Mane Liquor and Bootleg Brewery – Ryezilla.

In the body of this pilsner I found the Enigma hops giving off passion fruit, apricot and citrus aromas. The flavours were delicate but complicated, showing stone fruit, light bready malts and a crisp bitter finish.

Bridge Road Enigma confirmed my love for Bridge Road Brewers, their beers are exceptionally tasty and each limited release is genuinely well crafted, leaving you wanting more.

Bridge Road Enigma – ‘Beer of the Week’ at Beer is Your Friend

The Enigma paired with the manchego cheese was a lovely match even if the hop bitterness from the beer did dominate. The nutty flavours from the cheese seemed to cling to the beers bready notes, giving the whole mouthfeel of the beer a little more weight. The beers fruity hop flavours were also nice against the cheeses own fruitiness.

Bridge Road Enigma

Eagle Bay Mild

It’s been a while since I have had Eagle Bay Mild as I get caught up in their totally drinkable pale ale and tasty limited releases like the Cacao Stout. Revisiting this beer is a reminder that it’s really very good. There are aromas of toast and burnt caramel whilst the flavours are full of biscuit, spice and a finish that is all floral hops.

Eagle Bay Mild

These two proved to be another lovely match in an entirely different way to the Bridge Road Enigma.

The bigger malt focus of the Mild, when compared to the Enigma, gave a big boost to the nuttiness in the cheese and together they seemed to enhance the Mild Ale’s floral hops.

Eagle Bay Mild

Fremantle Beer Fest | 15-16 November

Fremantle Esplanade Reserve

Tickets here

 

girl + Dead Pony Club

My first thought when I poured the beer into a glass was “fat bubbles!” It’s full of fresh and crisp fruity hops with a dry bitter finish that practically dares you to take another sip. It’s also a mere 3.8% abv. Yippee! A tasty lower alcohol beer!

Brewdog Dead Pony Club

For those unfamiliar with the beer called Dead Pony Club from Scottish brewers Brewdog, the title of this post may seem a touch weird / creepy / a cry for help. For everyone else it’s just another blog post about a nice tasting beer.

So, Dead Pony Club – why the name? I honestly couldn’t say. I love a quirky website and punchy beer blurb but this made zero sense to me. Perhaps it’s because I don’t know anything about howitzers, internal combustion or mufflers. Heck, I don’t know anything about ponies either. My dad has two miniature horses which are definitely not ponies and that’s as far as my pony knowledge goes but I’m getting somewhat sidetracked. Why is this beer called Dead Pony Club? I don’t know. Does it taste good? Yes it does.

Something you can't do with bottles ...
Something you can’t do with bottles …

My first thought when I poured the beer into a glass was “fat bubbles!” It’s full of fresh and crisp fruity hops with a dry bitter finish that practically dares you to take another sip. This beer is all about the hops but not in an overbearing way. There’s piney, grapefruit and citrus notes and I got a little grassiness and biscuit flavours to boot.

It’s also a mere 3.8% abv. Yippee! A tasty lower alcohol beer!

For whatever reason the beers with big booze numbers get a fair bit of attention. Big booze is sometimes mistakenly equated with brilliance. The same can be said for high IBU and massively hopped beers. In reality, and I’m probably stating the obvious, it’s about balance over and above claiming the “biggest” something.

Dead Pony Club is well balanced and tasty with great fresh hop characters and is less than 5% abv, adding to it’s appeal. I can have a few of these and not worry about the booze factor too much or more accurately about the headache the next day. I’ve noticed that since turning thirty I don’t bounce back from boozy nights as brightly as I used to.

The problem is that great tasting, full flavoured lower alcohol beers are hard to come by. Recently my partner tried a booze free beer and when I asked how it tasted he replied “like sadness”.

Here are a few of my favourite low booze beers that don’t taste like sadness, regret or any other depressing flavours …

Little Creatures Rogers’

3.8% abv | Little Creatures Brewing | Fremantle (WA)

This is my go-to lower alcohol beer. Fun fact about this beer – the name is Rogers’ not Roger’s, as in it doesn’t belong to one guy named Roger but it belongs to two guys named Roger – namely Roger Bussell and Roger Bailey who designed the beer. I guess “fun fact” might depend on your definition of fun. Anyway, this malty, hoppy amber ale has long been a favourite of mine and has become pretty widely available.

Cheeky Monkey Travelling Monk

3.5% abv | Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery | Margaret River (WA)

It pours a gorgeous deep amber colour, you gotta love a sexy appearance, and is a great balance of sweet malt and fresh hops. I get hints of marmalade and oranges too. Available at the brewery, in bottles and mini kegs.

P1040867
Mini Kegs from Cheeky Monkey

Eagle Bay Mild Ale

3.5% abv | Eagle Bay Brewing | Eagle Bay (WA)

Tropical fruits, a little citrus and good bitterness. Available at the brewery and in bottles.

P1060594
Eagle Bay Mild at Morrie’s Anytime, Margaret River