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


Manchego + Beer: Round 1

Experimenting with some beer and cheese pairings … the best sort of experiments!

For the March edition of #temptingtuesday I asked the Twitter and Facebook world for their best beer match with manchego cheese …

#temptingtuesday happens on the 1st Tuesday of the month where I throw a question into the social media world, a beery question, one that might set your tastebuds thinking and one that will tempt me. I get inspired and I blog the delicious results.

temptingtuesday ... giving me even more excuses to match beer and food!

I got a lot of responses and they were quite diverse, so diverse and oh-so intriguing so I had to try at least three of the pairings. Hence, three separate posts. Oh and it’s also a really neat way for me to get a lot of mileage from one topic. Aren’t I a clever little cookie?

The Beer …

Westmalle Dubbel – a real, authentic, proper Trappist beer meaning it’s from a brewery where trappist monks either make or oversee the making of their beers. There are only seven such breweries in the world.

This gorgeous Belgian baby pours a muddy brown with flavours of light citrus, some earthy qualities with a warm hug at the end in the form of a fruitcake-like booziness.

The Cheese …

Manchego, aged for three months, that I got from The Re-Store in Leederville. A Spanish sheep’s milk cheese that must be made in the La Mancha region of Spain in order to be a true Manchego.

I love this cheese. It’s nutty, semi-hard with some tropical fruit flavours and a parmesan-like sharpness.

Westmalle and Manchego ... a pretty decent night in

Together …

Westmalle Dubble was just a little too boozy for the cheese. Outside of this it would have been a terrific match, the warm earthy flavours of the beer complimenting the nuttiness in the cheese, the soft tropical flavours of the manchego matching the fresh citrus in the beer.

A Silly Analogy to sum things up …

Like school kids who catch the same bus but aren’t friends –  they could be really good together but one distinctive element, in this case booze, stops them from playing nicely together.

Nevermind … learning by trying is a great way to approach beer and cheese pairings!