Just as the punny name suggests, this is a sheep's milk cheese. Produced in Holland, this firm, Gouda-like cheese has a sweet nutty-butterscotch flavor. However, the real treat is in the tiny calcium deposits which not only add a layer of interest to the texture but also add a wonderful salty flavor burst that balances out the sweetness of the cheese. After the burst, the resulting flavor combination is reminiscent of sweet, salted nuts such as pecans. Truly euphoric.
This is as smooth a pairing as you will find. The dark chocolate, roasty malt flavors in this beer perfectly balance the sweetness of the cheese. Together, the cheese rounds off the sharpest roasted malt (burnt toast/coffee) flavors and helps create a soft dark chocolate flavor.
Examples: Anchor Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, Great Divide Saint Bridget’s Porter, Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Serving Temp: 50°- 55°
Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug
Aroma: Roasty aroma should be noticeable may be pronounced with coffee and/or chocolate undertones.
Appearance: Pours a dark brown with garnet highlights with a fluffy tan head.
Flavor: Noticeable roasty malt flavors of strong coffee, dark chocolate or slightly burnt toast.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body that may finish drier because of roasty characters. Warming alcohol feeling may be present.
Food Pairings: Cuisine: barbecue, Mexican. Cheese: earthy. Dessert: chocolate. Meat: beef, smoked meat, grilled meat.
HopHeadSaid: Robust porters are really easy to pair with food. Their roasty notes resonate with grilled foods and their flavor intensities ensure they will hold their own in most pairings. Robust porters also pair well with many desserts. Their roasty flavors help balance sweeter desserts while their dark chocolate/coffee flavors resonate well with chocolate desserts.
This particular beer is a bit roastier then most American Brown Ales which is why this pairing is so ewephoric. Old Bar Brown Ale's roastiness combined with its crisp hop flavor causes the calcium crystals intensity to momentarily explode. After the initial flavor burst, the bittersweet-roasty malt flavors combine with the sweet nutty flavors of the cheese to create a subtle candied pecan-like flavor.
If you cant'f find this particular beer, I suggest you start with Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head, Bender from Surly Brewing Co or Moose Drool Brown Ale from Big Sky Brewing Co.
Serving Temp:40°- 45°
Glassware:Pint Glass, Mug
Aroma: Hints of sweet chocolate, caramel with toasted nuts are typical of this style. Some American browns have pronounced hop aromas especially if they are dry hopped.
Appearance: Pours clear brown to dark brown with a light tan head.
Flavor: Pronounced sweet malty flavors reminiscent of caramel and chocolate are balanced by elevated hop flavors and bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body that finish fairly dry due to the hops and elevated carbonation levels.
Food Pairings:Cuisine: Barbecue. Cheese: Earthy, Nutty. Meat: beef. Dessert: Chocolate.
HopHeadSaid: I prefer American brown ales over English brown ales because of the elevated hop profiles. The hop profiles help balance the toasted caramely/chocolate sweetness keeping the beer refreshing without limiting the beer’s pairing ability. The assertive hop intensity means the malt flavors have to be increased making it a great pairing beer for grilled foods, assertive cheeses and chocolate desserts.
This pairing accentuates the nutty flavors of the cheese. The subtle toasted-nut malt flavors resonate with the cheese creating a more intense salted nut flavor. The sweet malt flavors bridge the gap between the nutty flavors and the hops which keep the pairing from becoming too sweet.
Examples: Redhook ESB, Fuller’s ESB, Youngs Ram Rod, Bass Pale Ale, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Anderson Valley Boont ESB
Serving Temp: 45°- 50°
Glassware: Pint Glass, mug
Aroma: Hop aroma can range from low to high but will likely have a sawdust-like or earthy floral spice of traditional UK hops. Moderate caramel malt aroma and/or noticeable fruity esters will likely be present.
Appearance: The beer will pour clear, deep gold to copper with an off-white head. Head size and density will vary depending on carbonation level – cask, nitro, force carbonated, etc.
Flavor: A pronounced bitterness will be balanced by a caramelly malt sweetness. As the beer moves across the palate nutty or biscuity flavors may surface and mix with fruity esters.
Mouthfeel: These beers are generally medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.
Food Pairings: Cuisine: English, fried, roasted. Cheese: buttery (Gouda, Havarti, Swiss) Earthy (Blue, Brie, Winnemere) nutty (Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan). Meat: Pork, Game.
HopHeadSaid: These beers are great to pair with foods because their nutty/biscuity flavors resonate with many types of food but especially cheeses. The earthy hop flavors also pair well with many cheeses and add a counterpoint to any residual sweetness or another layer interest that wasn’t there before. Their medium intensity (flavor, body, alcohol) means their flavors won’t overpower many entrée’s and they can hold their own against all but the most intense foods or desserts. In short – I guess I shoulda said this earlier- you can pair these beers with just about anything and not go wrong.
Topics: Food Pairing, Beer Pairing, Cheese Pairing, Beer and Food, Beer and Cheese