On Thursday, August 1, we will host our annual beer and cheese pairing event, a casual sampling of 6 Schlafly Beers with 6 artisan cheeses from The Wine Merchant in Clayton. It’s a casual sampling. You can arrive any time between 6 and 8PM.
This is will be my fourth time organizing this event, and there are a few highlights that make this one stand out for me: a cheese washed with beer from New Glarus, a pairing with mead, and a pair of “before & after” cheeses.
I’ve written the pairings below in the order we recommend sampling them. Here’s the rundown:
Summer Lager - Tomme Crayeuse
We have to warm up our palettes, so we start with a pairing of mild flavors that reminded our cheesemonger of a warm summer afternoon picnic lunch. By the way, a cheesemonger is the cheese world’s the equivalent of a sommelier in wine. I used to think we called him the cheesemonger in jest, like the way you might call a master of cured meats the salami swami. But no. A cheesemonger is title earned. It’s on his business card.
Pale Ale - Tomme De Savoie
The cheesemonger did something fun here: he brought an aged version of the crayeuse, the Tomme de Savoie. This French cheese made from raw cows milk has a firmer texture and more intense flavor than its younger counterpart.
Export IPA - Raspberry Bellavitano
The bellavitano is a Wisconsin cheddar washed with New Glarus brewing company’s Raspberry tart, a hard-to-find beer that is only available in Wisconsin. If the only way I can get this beer in Missouri is on the rind of this irresistible favorite, I’ll take it.
Vanilla Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout - Bucheron
The Bucheron is a goat’s milk version of brie aged in the shape of a long cylinder and sliced into pucks. A secondary break forms a crumbly creamy core and a gooey outer ring. Together they play off the sweet vanilla and bourbon flavors and take the edge off the beer’s high alcohol.
Mead - Idiazabel
To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of mead, but for some odd reason, after taking a bite of this cheese, I can sip and savor the honey-wine. The idiazabel has an earthy must by itself, but with the mead, the Spanish sheep’s milk cuts and complements very nicely.
Tripel - Castello Blue
By now, your palette is starting to fatigue. That’s why we like to finish with the pungent flavor of blue cheese - the smelling salts of the taste buds. Castello blue is a Danish cheese; it’s creamy and mild (for a blue) and plays nicely with the complexity of the Tripel.
Try them all this Thursday. Tickets are just $15. Advance purchase recommended.