This week Glen and the boys from The Foodery (see pic) came by with four Spring seasonals to sample to our loyal customers. While you might interpret this as four wheat beers, each variety was distinctly different; their only uniting characteristic was that they were all delicious.
Agave Wheat with Ewephoria: From Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado, this wheat beer is amplified with a touch of sweet agave nectar. It is unfiltered, and one of the cloudiest wheat beers I have seen. We craved something sweet to match the agave but not too complex because we like to start out light. Ewephoria, a sheep milk Gouda and member of the Elite 8 in our March Madness of Cheese, was spot on. The sheep that give their milk to this cheese feed in a nature reserve, assuring a clean, milky flavor studded with accents of grasses and flowers. Combined with the wheat and citrus notes of the beer, Ewephoria was a refreshing, palate-awakening way to start our tasting.
Jack D’Or with Tuma Persa: From Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, a brewery in Massachusetts that obliterates the idea of “beer styles,” Jack D’Or is best described as a Saison with a ton of hops. Spicy and bold with ample, succulent bitterness, this beer demanded a sharp cheese to play with. Tuma Persa is your Huckleberry. An extra sharp cousin of Provolone made by Salvatore Passalacqua in Sicily, it cannot be overpowered. But, unlike most large-production Provolone, Tuma Persa is more than sharp: it is sweet and fruity and utterly delightful. Like two rabid pit bulls finding love, Tuma Persa and Jack D’Or quieted each other’s bark and created something new and wholly beautiful.
Hop Rod Rye with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar: From Bear Republic in California, Hop Rod is an IPA made with Rye malts, adding an extra dimension of spice and caramel sweetness. In the tradition of IPA and Cheddar, we opted for the Cabot Clothbound. Made in the style of Artisan Somerset Cheddars, the Cabot Clothbound is made from the milk of one heard of cattle, on one farm, and matured by the geniuses at Jasper Hill Farm. Earthy and grassy with a long finish, it embodies everything that is beautiful in the world (or at least the world of cheese). Were the Hop Rod to tilt further in the hop direction, we might have picked a sharper Cheddar, but the balance between these two proved to be just right.
Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout with Point Reyes Blue: Duck-Rabbit is a small brewery in North Carolina, and they are responsible for one of the finest Milk Stouts I have tasted. Brewed with highly roasted grains and lactose ,or milk sugars, it is full-bodied and sharp but also sweet enough to be served after dinner. Conventional wisdom says to pair it with a Stilton or some less salty blue cheese, but, to mix things up, we served it with Point Reyes, a firmer, saline blue from Point Reyes Station, California. The producers claim that Point Reyes Blue has three ingredients: Raw, grass-fed cow milk, the coastal fog and the salty Pacific breeze. The sea salt accentuated the sweetness of the Milk Stout, a near candy-like combination.
Join us next week when Nick from Troegs will be here for our FREE Happy Hour. Every Wednesday, 5-8pm.