Half the fun of this craft beer boom is exploring its variety. We get to experience new techniques, tastes and ideas. We’re able to enjoy things that can’t necessarily happen on a large scale, made by people whose concern is injecting a unique personality into their product.
Auroch’s Horn from Olvalde Farm and Brewing Co. is a prime example. It’s a rich and honeyed brew that receives color and flavor from a quick caramelization of the malt in a direct-fire kettle (try that in a 30 barrel batch). We’ve long enjoyed Joe Pond’s medieval brewing style, and you can taste it in the Auroch. It has both a powerful approach and a detailed backbone to reconsider at every degree above cellar temperature as it warms.
For a pairing, we need a cheese to be appreciated like that. Nothing too hard or sharp, something that feels ancient. Well, you know about trappist ales, but have you heard of trappist cheeses? If not, a fine domestic example is Brigid’s Abbey from Cato Corner Farm near Colchester, Connecticut. It’s a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, aged three to fours months. At fridge temperature, it’s sturdy, rich and buttery. However, it becomes springy with more yogurt-like flavor as it sits. It grows a pungent aroma (think earthy, not stinky) and acids tingle on the finish.
The richness of the two melt together on the palate and it’s the bitterness of each that stands out. Instead of filling cheese plates with antagonistic white cheddars and veiny blues, consider something like Brigid’s Abbey a crowd-pleasing compromise.
Because beer and cheese are pretty much the two best things on the planet, we present Beer/Cheese, in which we attempt different pairs of our favorites. Pick up today’s pairing at France 44.