Upstairs at the City Beer Hall is a great place to put some tables and chairs so that people can hang out and taste beers and cheese. The huge windows and the view into the room below add a sense of expansiveness that sets a lovely scene for some great flavors. On a recent non-frozen evening a group of avid tasters tasted to their hearts' content.
We each were given a program for the tasting so we didn't have to take extensive notes. The beers and cheese were these, which I would highly recommend for paired tastings you should do at home:
Grimm Color Field farmhouse ale wth Perail de Brebis
Brouwerij Bavik Petrus Red Ale with Tome Rebelais
Birrificio del Ducato Chrysopolis with Saulnois Reserve
Dirrificio Montegioco Fumigant with Alchese Blauwe
Eventually the assembled plates of two cheeses were delivered upstairs and the two beers were poured for everyone.
Our hosts from The Cheese Traveler and City Beer Hall each gave some background and we proceeded to share our experiences as we cheerfully explored some of the delights of basic food and drink.
And oh my. Flavor was the topic, the stuff and the conversation of the evening. Flavor profiles had been carefully analyzed and matched so that the unfolding of complementary complex flavors, although in really just a few bits of food, was mesmerizing through the evening.
The second pairing of two brought the tasting to the four beers and four cheeses, which is a really good amount if one is to get the gist of each without covering up anything, rushing or spacing out. While truly a tasting and not a meal, it was a great way to satisfy the senses without ending up too full or bored.
There was plenty of time to regale each other over our subjective experiences both at this table and at many others in past years. The time was used to slowly try each tidbit, but also to wait to clear one combination of flavors in order to fully experience the next. The beers and cheese were paired, but there were also little condiments to allow everyone to mix up their own tastes expand the range of what was happening.
The low lighting allowed the darkness from outside to eventually envelop the room and as we savored the strongest and most mind blowing flavors of the evening the room grew quiet and people said their goodbyes.
It was a satisfying way to explore new and traditional flavors and to share insights and opinions with convivial fellow guests. I hope this tasting series will be ongoing for a long time to come.
Lorre Bob sez check out both the beers and the cheese and if you can taste them together all the better.