Craft Beer and Cheese Pairings
Welcome to our first edition of Craft Beer and Cheese Pairings at 89 Prime.
We have been putting some work into the Craft Beer and Gourmet Food section at 89 Prime. It’s been our pleasure as out late to pair up Craft Beer with Chocolate and we even paired up with some Cheese with Chocolate. Today, we move on to Craft Beer and Cheese Pairings!
We will be mixing the beers up a bit, while our selection of cheese come from Yancey’s Fancy New York Artisan Cheese Sampler, out of Corfu, New York.
The cheese was purchased at a local grocery store and cost approximately $10. You do not have to buy high end, gourmet cheese if you want to put together your own pairings. Your local grocery store is likely to have plenty of options.
It’s worth noting that the Yancey’s Fancy packaging, gives pairing recommendations for both wine and beer under each description. We used it as a guide, though we did stray a bit, as we will explain through the pairing details.
Hey, we like to take some risks even if it turns out to be a bad pairing. At the end of the day, it’s beer and cheese. Have fun with it!
Double Pull Stout by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company paired with Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce Cheddar Cheese.
We’re bringing out the flavor right off the bat!
Here we have Double Pull Imperial Stout by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company out of Elmsford, New York. A limited release brewed with milk sugar, espresso, and flaked oats.
As per the label, this stout is brewed with espresso from Black Cow Coffee Company in Pleasantville, New York. Oh, and this stout packs a nice 10.5 percent ABV
We also want to note the seal of Certified Independent Craft Brewers Association is on display! This craft sounds amazing and we have just the cheese to pair it with!
That cheese is a Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce Cheddar. Recommended pairing is a Black and Tan Stout. We’re right in the ballpark here, so here we go.
Pairing Details and Notes
Pour out the stout. Nice black, color with moderate foamy head.
Slight scent of coffee, not overwhelming.
A few good sips in.. Good balance of strong flavor, with a smooth taste.
Alcohol is blended well especially being at 10.5 percent, not overbearing.
Coffee present in the aftertaste.
Time of the buffalo wing cheddar cheese.
One small bite, just a nibble.. Wow a lot of kick in that buffalo wing sauce.
Follow it up with another sip of the stout.
Talk about a flavor blast.. If you’re looking for a mild, easy going, food pairing this is NOT for you! Plenty of kick to awaken every last taste bud!
The stout neutralized the spice a bit, though the wing sauce did outlast the other flavors.
Repeat a couple more times. Got to be careful, that is an addicting combination!
Final Pairing Verdict: Love it. Would recommend as long as you are ok with some spice. Not into hot sauces that make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, but this was a just the right mount of kick. The taste of a good quality stout made for an amazing pairing.
Note, while we are willing to go astray from certain pairing recommendations, this isn’t one of them. The amount of spice in the buffalo wing sauce, can overpower lighter bodied beers. Best to stick with a stout for this type of cheese pairing.
Irish Breakfast Ale by Resurgence Brewing paired with Horseradish Cheddar Cheese
The beer selection for this pairing will be Irish Breakfast Ale by Resurgence Brewing Co. out of Buffalo, New York. Here we have an Irish red ale with a maple and coffee blend. It is a seasonal release all ready for St. Patty’s Day and dials in at 5.5 percent alcohol.
This ale is actually a repeat from a previous Craft Beer and Cocopotamus Chocolate Pairing! We like it so much it is our pleasure to drink it again. That, and we figured this would be an interesting pairing with one of the cheese options.
The cheese we speak of is a horseradish cheddar and Yancey’s recommends an amber ale for pairings. Now, this is a red ale which is a bit different than an amber. Then, there is the maple and coffee flavor aspect. We’re going with a risky pairing. Let’s give it a shot and see what happens.
Pairing Details and Notes
Scent of maple and coffee upon pouring. Very pleasant.
Took a few sips of the ale. As with the aroma the maple and coffee flavors are present.
Good blend as one flavor does not overpower the other. Nice aftertaste.
As the taste settles time for the cheese.
A few small bites. Horseradish taste is present and not overbearing. Well done.
Another small bite of the cheese and then a sip of the ale.
Excellent mouth feel.
Hint of maple still noticeable throughout flavor progression, though the coffee flavor quickly fleeted upon tasting the cheese.
Quick crisp finish.
Taste of horseradish dominant in aftertaste.
Final Pairing Verdict: Thumbs up for sure. When deciding on the pairing, I was not sure how the maple and coffee tastes would play out in the overall flavor profile with a horseradish cheddar. Considering I’ve used the Irish breakfast in a previous pairing, I trusted the quality would play out well. It worked well. Very impressed!
Blackberry Kolsch by Ellicottville Brewing Co. paired with New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese
For out next pairing we are going with Blackberry Kolsch by Ellicottville Brewing Company out of Ellicottville, NY. This is a seasonal, german style ale that checks in at 5.2 percent ABV.
As for the cheese selection, we’ll go with New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Recommendation is an IPA for this pairing, but we’re calling in a pinch hitter here.
Pairing Details and Notes:
Pleasant aroma, hint of fruit.
Light body with a touch of a foam head.
A few swigs and let the taste settle. Light taste, with fruity notes. Blackberry flavor blended well into the overall flavor profile.
As noted, this is a seasonal beer released in the Winter months. This could definitely do well in the summer as well.
Time for the cheese. Quality cheddar taste.
Sip of the ale, and here we go.
Oh yes, even keeled flavor progression. Nice and smooth.
Taste of fruit evolved blackberry weaned as the flavors progressed.
Cheese flavor outlasted the beer.
Final Pairing Verdict. Green Light! Wasn’t sure if the beer was going to be too light, but it did work. I would even classify this as a good “starter pairing” for those new to the craft beer and cheese pairing world. It won’t send your taste buds through the roof, as with the stout buffalo wing sauce pairing. Recommended!
Let’s Go Pils by Community Beer Works paired with Smoked Gouda Cheese.
We’re going on the lighter side of the pairing scale here. Our craft of choice goes by the name of Let’s Go Pils. A Pilsner by Community Beer Works out of Buffalo, NY, with a 4.2 percent ABV
We have a real Western New York, Buffalo theme going on here, if you hadn’t picked up on it. Let’s Go Pils.. Let’s Go Bills.. ya get it? #pilsmafia not #billsmafia. It’s a football, good food, quality beer kind of town!
Anyways, the cheese we’ll be pairing it with is a smoked gouda cheese. Aalsbruk gouda blended and smoked. Recommended pairing is an amber ale, though we are going with a pilsner. Given the lighter nature of the cheese, this should be a safe choice. Let’s see.
Pairing Details and Notes
Open up and pour it out. Light golden body, light short head.
Slight aroma of hops. Nice.
A few sips in.. love it. Pilsner fan here, and this hits the spot.
Time for the Gouda. Good texture and mouthfeel.
Followed up by another sip of the pilsner. Very nice taste progression. Light.. not abrupt as the flavors evolve.
Smoked gouda tends to have a nutty taste to it, though not as noticeable here. Could be due to the pilsner neutralized it.
The overall flavor profile is light and pleasant. Fairly fleeting likely due to the light nature of both aspects of the pairing.
Slight cheese taste dominant in aftertaste, as with the previous pairings.
Final Pairing Verdict: Yes this is a winner. It is light pairing and the flavors reacted as such. Could see where the amber ale would work well with the gouda, but would go too dark.
Well that is it. Four up and found down.
Thank you for reading for checking out our first installment of Craft Beer and Cheese Pairings. We look forward to more in the near future!
The 89 Prime Taste Test Team
In case you were interested in any other Craft Beer Pairings: