Archive for the ‘pairing’ Category

Beer and Cheese from the British Isles at the Commonwealth in Oakland

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Commonwealth Pub sign
Last Sunday at the Commmonwealth Cafe and Pub in Oakland, Cicerone Nicole Erny held her British Isles beer and cheese pairing event. After a day at Triple Rock sampling sour beers amongst the crowds I was quite happy to get to this event. Seating was limited here and the ambiance was terrific, a great way to relax and get some focus towards pairings. Outside of this, it was also great to see some Bay Area Mashers there (AJ, Lee Shepard, and others) along with Nate Smith (part time masher!) and Chaz Lakip (traveled down Beer and Cheese with Nicole Erny at the Commonwealth Pubfrom Juneau, AK).
After settling up on cost and enjoying some conversation with a pint of 21st Amendment’s very excellent Bitter American (way better than I imagined, can’t wait till it comes out in cans). We were promptly seated and the event began. I won’t go into too much detail but Nicole really does her homework for her events. Along with some history of both the beers and cheese we were tasting, she presented pairings that I wouldn’t have thought doable. You would think some of these cheeses would just overpower the beer but they didn’t. Amazing what the odiferous washed rind cheese brought out in the milk stout or how the stilton treated the Scotch Ale. None of the beers (and one cider) I’ve had before, certainly not the cheese. While I came to learn something, I also had a door opened up in terms of possibilities of what you can come up with. There is a lot going on with pairing beer and cheese, more so than I imagined. Thanks for the head start.
Trust me, you are doing a disservice by missing a Nicole event. Check out the few shots below and clicky on them for a bigger version.
Cheers and don’t forget the cheese with your next beer.

Cicerone Nicole ErnyNicole holding court. She keeps her events on track and gets your attention for every course so you will learn something.

Great cheese and Cider at the Commonwealth Cafe and PubI’m going to take a shot and say that this one was the raw milk cave aged cheese paired with a naturally fermented cider. Makes my mouth water just looking at it again.

Stilton in front of Meantime Scotch AleI’m not much for Meantime but this was an exception. Went very well with the out of focus piece of stilton in front of it.

The lone pint Commonwealth Cafe and Pub in OaklandTill next time…..

The day after the fourth

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

 So we went camping for the 4th. It was my daughters first time out in a tent for the night and she loved it.

We had Damnation with our breakfast. A beer that I absolutely love, but I think with the food presented I should have gone with Duvel. Damnation has a pepper taste in the end that clashed with the fruit and pancakes….I should have broken it out when the bacon was served instead!


 An anti-seasonal hit for the weekend:

I say anti-seasonal in reference to my session posting below. Russian River’s Dead Leaf Green is an excellent English Ale. The malt aromas and taste are spot on to the style with just enough bitterness to balance. Everyone thinks of Russian River Brewing as the home of Belgians and IPAs. In honor of the anti-season, I tried this beer and loved it. Good chance I’d get it again next time I’m at the pub.

 Other hits:

Moylan’s Irish Red Ale. Stopped at the pub on my way back from Russian River. Moylan’s is a quality brew pub with great beers. The Irish Red was not a let down. I don’t have notes for this beer but everything seemed right from Yeast esters, to the malt, and just enough hops to balance.


Food with your beer

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Hey why pair a beer with your food when you should pair food with your beer!
One dish I love making is my italian sausage sandwich. Boil some italian sausages in budweiser, cut up some peppers and onions, fry them up, heat up some buns, and you’re golden. Add a thin strip of mustard and ketchup and start eating.
I was drinking my Irish Red homebrew when I decided to cook this up. The food paired nicely with the beer. My Irish Red is not that bitter which works out great with this meal since their aren’t any particular strong, overpowering flavors….mainly just sweetness. The sweetness of the sandwich marries nicely with the low bitter, malt forward ale.