We couldn’t let American Craft Beer Week pass by without recommending a few craft cheese and beer pairings for your enjoyment this weekend. As many cheese lovers know, fermented milk matches marvelously with fermented beverages of any variety — so no need to limit yourself to just champagne, as we may have short-sightedly done when naming this blog… Fortuitously, I was invited to attend the Taste of Vermont Thursday night on Capitol Hill, an annual event hosted by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). I suppose it’s only natural that the Senator be a foodie, coming from the land of so many delicious creations.
How much of a foodie is the Senator? Here are just a few of his tweets from yesterday:
Back to the subject at hand. We know and love many of the cheesemakers from the great state of Vermont, and it’s only natural that the state’s brewers produce a range of cheese-friendly suds to choose from. Did you know that Vermont has the highest number of breweries per person of any state? Two of my favorite pairings from last night: Magic Hat‘s newest Elder Betty, a delightfully tart summer weiss-style ale, with new-to-me Sage Farm Goat Dairy‘s Sterling, an ash-ripened Valencay-style pyramid of Alpine goats-milk, and Wolaver‘s Wildflower Wheat with Spring Brook Farm‘s Reading Raclette.
Other delicacies savored at the event included Jasper Hill‘s Weybridge on Castleton Crackers, Vermont Farmstead Cheese‘s luscious Lille, a pickled fiddlehead on Vermont Salumi‘s pate, Vermont Shepherd‘s Invierno and Consider Bardwell‘s Pawlet with Whistle Pig Rye, Vermont Yak chili, goat curry, Green Mountain Distillers maple liquor, Maplebrook mozzarella caprese, Vermont Soy tofu nori rolls, and pumpkin brulée topped with Fat Toad Farm‘s divine goats-milk caramel. And brought home cheese snacks from Cabot for the kids, maple syrup and honey. Phew. Oh, and between each course I cleansed my palate with a few Vermont Pickles. The maple sweets are a divine complement to just about any cheese.
The annual Taste of Vermont in DC is an invitation-only affair, but you can get your own taste of many of these creations (and so many more) at the fourth annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival on July 22, 2012, at Shelburne Farms. The event is sure to sell out, so be sure to purchase your tickets today. As if the cheese wasn’t a big enough draw, you can also attend a “How Cheese Works” seminar with Cellars at Jasper Hill’s Zoe Brickley (reservations required). I haven’t made it back since the first fest in 2009 … don’t make the same mistake!
What craft beer are you drinking this weekend?