Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Craft Beer Crosscut 3.31.18: A Flight of Cheese and Beer

Ron Swarner

Share

Beer-Flights-Logo-no-wordsNot every combination of two good things leads to another good thing. Pickles and Mad Dog? Salami and Zima? Skittles and Hot Dog Water? These are a few examples that would make horrible combinations (but great buddy cop team names). Sometimes, though, magic happens — and at the Peaks and Pints Cheesy Flannel Fest, Maître Fromager Kris Blondin has found the sweet spot where beer and cheese put away their differences and come together. If you think wine is the only appropriate pairing for cheese, then let Maître Fromager Kris Blondin, the founder of former downtown Tacoma wine bar Vin Grotto and Tacoma Triangle District’s Stink Cheese + Meat, enlighten you. She and Peaks and Pints cellarman Ron Swarner will pair artisan cheese from around the world with craft beer from the Columbia Gorge at the Cheesy Flannel Fest Saturday, March 31 at Peaks and Pints bottle shop, taproom and restaurant in Tacoma’s Proctor District. From noon to 9 p.m. you may taste two different versions of Craft Beer Crosscut 3.31.18: A Flight of Cheese and Beer, including a Russian imperial stout paired with Fourme d’Ambert l’Or des Dômes artisan organic cheese, Flanders blonde with Idiazabal smoked manchego, Belgian-style dubbel paired with French mimolette and a kolsch with a French Comte Alpine cheese, just to name a few. By the end of it, you might never want to hit the (wine) bottle again.

Proceeds from the Cheesy Flannel Fest will go toward Friends of the Columbia Gorge’s efforts to restore the damaged landscape cause by last summer’s Eagle Creek fire.

Flight of Three

Beer: 54-40 Brewing Kascadia Kolsch
4.8% ABV, 5 IBU
Traditional imported Pilsner malt and a classic German yeast strain create a hint of lemon zest with some minor sweetness and light maltiness.
Cheese: Comte is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and is produced in Franche-Compte region of France. It has a strong nutty flavor and sweet hints of caramel.

Everybodys-Local-Logger-Lager-TacomaBeer: Everybody’s Local Logger Lager
4.8% ABV, 26 IBU
A refreshing, unfiltered lager spiced with Saaz and Golding hops for grain, grass and light earth notes.
Cheese: Couronne Brie differs from the balanced creaminess of Camembert by evoking a more earthy, mushroomy bite.

Beer: Full Sail Citrus Maxima Pale
5.7%, 38 IBU
Tart and juicy tropical flavors of grapefruit and pomelo complement the citrusy hop character of this balanced and refreshing pale ale.
Cheese: Pata Cabra is a goat’s milk cheese from the city of Zaragosa, Spain. Expect a goaty tang with all its lemony, earthy freshness and a salty finish.

Flight of Five

Beer: 54-40 Brewing Kascadia Kolsch
4.8% ABV, 5 IBU
Traditional imported Pilsner malt and a classic German yeast strain create a hint of lemon zest with some minor sweetness and light maltiness.
Cheese: Comte is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and is produced in Franche-Compte region of France. It has a strong nutty flavor and sweet hints of caramel.

Beer: Walking Man Zero BS Monastary Belgian Dubbel
7.5% ABV, 20 IBU
A lightly smoked Belgian style dubbel made in honor of the Columbia Gorge brewery’s longtime friend George “Smoke” Dawson. Expect sweet caramel and dried fig flavors playing well with light, fruity Belgian yeast esters and cherrywood-smoked malt.
Cheese: Mimolette is a legendary French cheese similar to Gouda and Edam, colored orange by the addition of annatto seeds and shaped into a ball. Mimolette looks a lot like a cantaloupe, its orange flesh covered by a mottled, uneven rind.

Backwoods-The-Stumbler-TacomaBeer: Backwoods The Stumbler Russian Imperial Stout
12% ABV, 35 IBU
Backwoods Brewing Company has released a new bourbon barrel-aged stout called “The Stumbler,” a Russian Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hills bourbon barrels for 18 months, the longest barrel aging for the Columbia Gorge brewery. The Stumbler sports four different malts, including roasted barley and chocolate malt, for notes of vanilla, charred oak and brown sugar, followed by a light smokiness.
Cheese: Fourme d’Ambert l’Or des Dômes is a delicate alchemy of a fragrant aroma and a sweet, well-rounded tang. The French cow’s milk bleu cheese has a grey and blue stone-like suit protecting its internal soft, silky interior speckled with tangy mold.

Beer: Double Mountain Hop Lion IPA
6.7% ABV, 65 IBU
Double Mountain’s new year-round IPA hits the nose with grapefruit, pine and some light caramel notes. Taste is grapefruit and pine hop bitterness with a light fruity and caramel malty sweetness.
Cheese: Beecher’s Flagship is a fairly firm, nutty cow’s milk cheddar-Swiss hybrid produced by Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

pFriem-Flanders-Style-Blonde-TacomaBeer: pFriem Flanders-Style Blonde
7.1% ABV, 19 IBU
pFriem Family Brewers Flanders-Style Blonde’s flavor is more malty and less acidic than expected. Expect creamy but light bodied, husky wheat, earthy, funky yeast and hay with much less of the lemon in the aroma. On the tongue, it finishes tart and peachy but again very restrained and refreshing.
Cheese: Idiazabal is a Spanish, smoky, sheep’s-milk cheese with a crumbly, paste-like texture and covered with a hard, inedible rind. With its sweet aroma, this cheese pairs beautifully with pFriem’s Flanders-Style Blonde.