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!

 

 

#temptingtuesday – January

What was your first beer of 2014?

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

Like an enthusiastic date with wandering hands, the new year is now upon us. Many of us have made new years resolutions centred around health – vowing to increase exercise and decreasing booze consumption (my armband smart phone case should arrive in my letter box any minute now).

But the thing about this new years resolution stuff is that you gotta make it reasonable and achievable, I reckon it’s about starting the year as you intend to finish it – with a damn good beer.

So it seemed fitting to ask the social media world …

What was your first beer of 2014?

Burleigh Brewing FIGJAM
My first beer of 2014 – Burleigh Brewing FIGJAM
Aromas of caramel, orange and marmalade
Very sessionable IPA with a nice spicy character, tropical fruits and dry finish.

And I wasn’t the only one bringing in the new year in beer-style …

Cavalier Berliner Weisse

Bridge Road Summer Single Hop IPA

Hargreaves Hill 2010 The Phoenix

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Mapel Ale

Brewdog Black Tokyo Horizon

Mornington Peninsula IPA

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project Jack D’or

Edge Brewing Project Ashes to Mashes

Epic Hop Zombie

Some went local …

Little Creatures IPA

Rogers’

Feral Hop Hog

Cheeky Monkey Hagenbeck

Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery
Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery

Others went ‘formerly local’ …

Matilda Bay Fat Yak

Whilst others admitted to questionable taste bud decisions …

VB can

Crown Lager

So, here’s the big question – what did you toast in the new year with?

#temptingtuesday – December

What’s your favourite snack with beer? Yup, it’s another #temptingtuesday blog post folks!

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

Being as it’s December and the count down to Christmas is now on, though something I am ignoring like an ostrich, my first instinct was to ask a #temptingtuesday question relating to Christmas. So I posted this on Facebook and Twitter:

DecemberThen I realised it was maybe a little predictable and if I hadn’t thought that far ahead, cause I’m just not that organsied, then perhaps other people were in the same boat and this question would result in very few answers. So I changed my mind and asked this instead:

December 2

December 3

The results were drool-worthy and have me on the look out for celery salt. It was also good to know there are a lot of cheese-obsessed people like me out there in the world.

beer snacks

#temptingtuesday – November

As WA Beer Week approached I asked you guys a question – what are your top 3 WA beers? The only rule was that they had to be available now, draught or bottle didn’t matter just as long as it was able to be drunk right now.

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

I dropped the ball on my own #temptingtuesday thing in November in that I missed it by an entire day. So instead we have tempting Wednesday but I figure a) no one is really paying that much attention and b) it was Melbourne Cup so I probably wasn’t really going to get a straight sober answer out of anyone that day.

Since, at the time of asking the question, it was leading to WA Beer Week I decided to ask the question,

What are your top 3 wa beers?

The only rule was that they had to be available now, draught or bottle didn’t matter just as long as it was able to be drunk right now. Normally I only ask the question on Twitter but his time I also asked Facebook, here’s how the votes were cast and thank you to everyone who posted a comment!

temptingtuesday november

As for me, well I hate to have to choose between so many of my favourite things but I did manage to narrow it down in what might be considered a predictable but certainly delicious list!

If I had to pick three ...

#temptingtuesday – October

It feels like low booze beers are difficult to come across in our beloved craft beer world in which demand for flavour continues to surpass higher and higher peaks. I think about low ABV (alcohol by volume) beers when I know I’ll have to drive but with more and more extremely tasty low booze beers available it’s time to remember they are no longer just for times of responsibility.

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and silly little trinkets have made their way into Coles and Woolworths supermarkets which means we must be in October.

October’s #temptingtuesday was …

What’s your favourite beer that’s under 4% abv?

“Small Beer” is a ye olde type of English beer, very low in booze and common until the 19th century. It was a beer for anyone regardless of age or class. It was also considered a good alternative to water since water quality could be very poor. Health advice has certainly changed …

This question was inspired by two things –

1) I recently discovered the wonderfulness that is Brewdog Dead Pony Club, a 3.8% California Pale Ale from Scotland.

2) Last week Margaret River’s Colonial Brewing introduced their recent limited release Small Ale into the permanent line up. The Small Ale is a reduced alcohol IPA clocking in at 3.5% abv.

I recently wrote a post about my new found love for Brewdog Dead Pony Club and the lower alcohol beers I’ve enjoyed so far but thanks to #temptingtuesday I’ve now got a long list to seek out!

Brewdog Dead Pony Club

Colonial’s Small Ale is now available at all good Colonial outlets and is, as Brewery Manager Richard Moroney describes it, “deliciously responsible”

Colonial's Small Ale

It feels like low booze beers are hard to come across in the craft beer world, a world in which demand for things to be “bigger” seems to grow. I think about low ABV (alcohol by volume) beers when I know I’ll have to drive but with more and more extremely tasty options available it’s time to remember they are no longer just for times of responsibility.

So, what were people’s favourite beers under 4% abv? Prepare to copy and paste these into your beer shopping lists folks!

Feral Brewing (WA) Watermelon Warhead

Cheeky Monkey (WA) Travelling Monk

Birbeck’s Brewing (SA) The Captain

Brewdog (SCOT) Dead Pony Club

Emerson’s (UK) Bookbinder

Mornington’s (VIC) Little Irish Red Ale

Murray’s (NSW) Punch & Judy’s Ale

The Monk (WA) Mild

Old Coast Road (WA) Bitter

Moor (UK) Revival

Colonial Brewing (WA) Small Ale

Redemption (UK) Trinity

And special mention to my friend Scott Bennett and his homebrew The Postman that cracked a mention or two!

#temptingtuesday – September

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

girl+beer logo with twitter

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

Hello September! I used this months #temptingtuesday as a way to outsource a beer to pair with a specific dish I wanted to make for dinner.

Prawn and Chorizo Linguine

I went to Chris’s Sea to You seafood van in Busselton for the prawns and used the last bit of Coat of Arms Chorizo we had in the fridge. For those unfamiliar with Coat of Arms Chorizo, it’s from the Margaret River Venison Farm and it’s amazing. Spicy, rich and totally over-the-top and tasty as hell. It’s name comes from the two animals it’s made from …

Coat of Arms

I found a recipe from taste.com.au that suited my craving – chorizo and prawn fideos (a very quick Google search told me it’s Spanish for noodles) and it was a delicious success. It’s also a nice way of using a single pan for cooking dinner, spaghetti and all! God I hate dishes.

Cooking up a storm ... well, pasta anyway

Armed with a bare boned descriptor of “prawn and chorizo linguine” I got back some great suggestions for potential beer pairings. Most of them were pilsners or imperial pilsners, the crowd had spoken so I set to work on dinner.

Since the Coat of Arms chorizo is very punchy I thought an imperial pilsner would be in order and so I opened this …

Garage Project's Hops on Pointe

Now you might be saying “but girl+beer, that’s not an imperial pilsner!” and you’d be right, it isn’t but for some reason I had it in my head that it was. From when I poured it into the glass and right up until I read the label, I thought I was about to delve into an imperial pilsner. I don’t know why. It’s actually a lager.

Moving past this little beery misjudgement the beer itself was lovely. Another nice drop from Kiwi outfit Garage Project and according to their website it was brewed to “celebrate the world’s first ‘Beer Ballet’ called Bier Halle” being staged by the Royal New Zealand Ballet. The lager is brewed with German malts and New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops, a variety that gets it’s name from it’s sauvignon blanc grape like flavours.

Hops on Pointe had soft honey and melon aromas and I got floral, grassy, bready and slight bitterness on tasting.

As far as matching to prawn and chorizo fideos, it was a bit of a debate. My partner thought the delicate beer got spanked by the richness of the meal. I thought (or perhaps hoped, considering my incorrect style assumption) the beer acted almost like a palate cleanser, its soft bitterness kinda tingling over the spicy chorizo.

Either way, a delicious meal and a good beer but I reckon an imperial pilsner would have been great! Mental note to self, don’t rely on memory, it’s been marinating in booze for more than a decade, read the label!

Dinner is served!

#temptingtuesday – August

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide world of the Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

girl+beer logo with twitterWhat the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide world of the Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

It kicked off in June with – What’s your favourite beer and cheese pairing in recent memory? July was – Which beers have changed your life and totally rocked your world? It resulted in a hell of a beer wish list which you can check out here.

Which brings us to August, on the first Tuesday of August I asked –

#temptingtuesday

For me it all started with Hoegaarden, that’s the beer that changed everything for me. Until then I’d been drinking mainstream lager stuff and enjoyed it enough but Hoegaarden was something else entirely. It was low on bitterness and tasted like banana and spices and what do you mean it’s made with coriander and orange peel?! So I went exploring … and that’s how it all started.

For others the beers that sparked true beery love range from Emu Bitter, that I fondly remember drinking at The Grosvenor Hotel back when they were a dirty live music pub, to Spaten Optimator which appears to be only available in the United States and Germany. It was so much fun reading through people’s replies and in no particular order here is the list for your viewing pleasure …

Spaten Optimator | German double bock | @SBbrew

Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale | Pumpkin Ale | @maria_fulmer

Chimay Blue | Trappist Ale | @JustBeer_NoBull

Redback Original | Weizen | @chefdebeersine

New Belgium Fat Tire | Amber Ale | @JessShaverPhoto 

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Pale Ale | @JessShaver Photo (I know, I know, that’s two answers but sometimes it’s hard to narrow it down!)

Little Creatures Pale Ale | Pale Ale | @ruskijp

Photo by Sandra Megan
Photo by Sandra Megan

Emu Bitter | Lager | @DrRiggsy and @buckets74 – no other beer got two mentions except good ol’ EB

Toohey’s Extra Dry | Lager | @buckets74

Eagle Bay Pale Ale | Pale Ale | @buckets74

Eagle Bay

James Squire Amber Ale | Amber Ale | @frozensummers

Naked Ned Pale Ale (Bridge Road Brewers) | Pale Ale | @mpbrew

Brew Works Blueberry Belch | Fruit Beer | @beergirlbites

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (in a nitro can) | Stout | @beergirlbites

Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter | Porter | @MelbDave

Rooster’s Cream | Strong Pale Ale (seasonal) | @MelissaCole

Kelham Island Pale Rider | Pale Ale | @MelissaCole

Fustenberg | Lager | @BrewinLex

Le Fin De Monde | Tripel Golden Ale | @RafflesLiquor

Hope to see you all for September’s #temptingtuesday …

#temptingtuesday – July

One of my recent random ideas as been #temptingtuesday – combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer.

girl+beer logo with twitter

One of my recent random ideas has been #temptingtuesday – combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer.

The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide world of the Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results, hopefully next time it won’t take me the whole month!

I kicked it off last month and given that I would live off beer and cheese if I wasn’t worried my heart would stop, the first topic for #temptingtuesday made sense …

Me

You can check out the results here.

For July’s #temptingtuesday I wanted to know what beers had changed your life, the ones that totally rocked your world and made you wish the bottle or glass would instantly refill itself.

Me

It was so good to read peoples fond memories for the beers they love so much. Thank you to everyone who contributed, I now have a hell of a shopping list.

How is this for an amazing shopping list ...Damn it, just noticed a typo in my list. Rookie Mistake. Oh well, I’ve had a few beers so I’m just going to leave it, hope you find it amusing as opposed to lazy.

I had the pleasure of trying to Rodenbach Grand Cru at Boatrocker Palate Cleanser for Good Beer Week. The Grand Cru is a beautiful Flanders Red Ale, a style that incorporates barrel aging, blending and special Belgian yeast strains. I found a good article on the style here if you’re keen.

Saison Dupont, Feral Hop Hog and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale are all firm favourites in my book but with all these great beers it was time to go shopping! Not for everything of course, stupid credit card limit …

Green Flash Double Stout

image

Tripel Karmeliet

So, I guess I’d better let you go, you’ve got some shopping to do!

#temptingtuesday – June

On my first #temptingtuesday – Tuesday 4th June – I asked: “What’s your favourite beer and cheese pairing in recent memory?”

The more I use Twitter, the more I love it. It’s amazing how passionate people can be in just 140 characters.

On the first Tuesday of June I decided I wanted to use Twitter to ask more questions. I always want to learn more about beer and there’s great books, magazines and websites I like to read. But the simple act of asking a question can sometimes get better results, personal insights and opinions and hell, it’s just more fun.

I’m calling it #temptingtuesday and asking the twitterverse something relating to beer on the first Tuesday of the month. Why “tempting’? … read on, you’ll see!

The first girl+beer #temptingtuesday question was …

#temptingtuesday

I answered my own question to get the ball rolling –

Me

I had this at The Goat and The Big Apple during Good Beer Week, a lunch at Mountain Goat Beer in Richmond with their beers together with Brooklyn Brewery (USA). It was simply divine.

wpid-IMG_20130518_130233.jpg

And here is the mouthwatering list of beer and cheese love affairs that was tweeted to me,

Tempting Tuesday 2 Temping Tuesday 3 Tempting Tuesday 1

So it was time to go shopping, I picked out two beer and cheese pairings from the list.

First up a suggestion from Steve Brockman, a Perth born brewer who is one half of Two Brewers Abroad and former Head Brewer at Fremantle’s The Monk Brewery.

Steve 3

I like simple; I have a tendency to over-complicate things so this match definitely appealed to me. Also it was also an easy shop.

Cheese – Cracker Barrel Vintage Cheddar. Just cause it comes from the supermarket doesn’t mean it’s crap. It’s a decent cheddar, fruity, tangy and nutty with a real thick mouth coating quality.

Beer – Coopers Sparkling Ale. What a classic beer! Floral, a little spicy and with massive drinkability.

Result? Hell yeah. Steve was right, keeping it simple isn’t sacrificing on taste. All the flavours complimented each other nicely and beer is just so good at cutting through a thick cheese.

P1060298 P1060300

image

For my second choice I went for a suggestion from Victoria’s Bright Brewery,

Bright 2

Sadly I didn’t have any of their Razor Wit, a Belgian style witbier. Nor did I know where to get any Red Hill Cheese Portsea Picnic, a mild semi-hard goat cheese. So I improvised a little –

Cheese – South Cape Goat’s Cheese. Soft, fruit with a delicate tartness.

Beer – Billabong Wheat. Massive banana sweetness, light bodied and refreshing.

Result? The two were alright together but the sweetness from the beer dominated the soft goat’s cheese. A beer a little easier on the banana and weightier on the spice might have worked better.

P1060297 P1060299

I’ll leave this post on the Tweet that made me laugh the most … thanks Scott, you cheeky devil!

I hope you’ll join me on Twitter for the next #temptingtuesday on the 2nd July!

Scott