Below is a short video (less than 7 minutes) that chronicles the making of Cabot Clothbound.
This beer pairing is all about the hop flavor/bitterness and the sharp cheddar flavors. The citric hop flavors resonate with the sharp cheddar creating a more intense, bright hop/cheddar flavor. But in a wonderfully pleasant way. The initial hop and cheddar flavor burst is quickly dispelled by the malt sweetness and the caramel flavors in the cheese. The caramel sweetness also acts as an extra balance against the hops, if you aren't so keen on the hops.
Examples: Two Hearted Ale, 60 Minute IPA, Hop Devil Ale, Raser 5, Titan, Blind Pig
Serving Temp: 40°- 45°
Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug
Aroma: Think citrus (grapefruit), resinous pine, or even tropical fruit. There may be a slight sweetness present from the malt but the hop aromas will most likely cover up those aromas.
Appearance: Colors will vary from medium gold to a reddish copper but they will all be clear unless they have been dry hopped and then there may be a slight haze. Because the malt used has very little dark color the head will be white to off white and should persist.
Flavor: IPA’s are all about the hops (bitterness, flavor and aroma) and so there will be medium to high amount of hop flavor and bitterness that will reflect the American hop citrus qualities (citrusy, floral, resinous, pine). Malt flavor will be low to showcase all the hop characteristics.
Mouthfeel: You can expect a medium body with a pleasing mouth puckering bitterness (think grapefruit) that helps to dry the beer out and creates a thirst quenching, refreshing beer.
Food Pairings: Cheese: Pepper Jack. Meat: Fish, smoked salmon. Cuisine: American, Mexican.
HopHeadSaid: I love IPA’s! They are refreshing when it is hot out and their warming alcohol keeps you warm when it is cold. These beers pair well with many foods especially savory or sweet foods. The bitterness and alcohol help cleanse the palate of savory foods like cheeses or fried foods and the bitterness also helps keep the sweet foods in check. But if you want to spice things up a bit drink an IPA with some spicy salsa. The bitterness momentarily emphasizes the spice but the alcohol helps to refresh the palate just like a tortilla chip.
This pairing is all about the malt flavors. The beer's malt caramel-like flavors resonate with and accentuate the toasted nuttiness found in the cheese. This creates a pairing that is more balanced towards the sweet side which helps to cover up more of the hop flavors/bitterness and tamp down the sharp cheddar flavors. This beer is hoppier than most browns but that works for this pairing as you need a little more counterbalance to work against all the cheese. This beer also has a good amount of carbonation and alcohol in this beer which helps to cleanse the palate.
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.
Topics: Food Pairing, Beer Pairing, Cheese Pairing, Beer and Food, Beer and Cheese