I am getting ready for a nearly 2 week road trip to Mexico (that is another blog, or at least should be) and was too busy for dinner tonight getting ready. By 10PM I realized my oversight and made what turned out to basically be a beer run. Rick’s place, ‘Brewforia’ was a bit far and I would have spent nearly an hour getting there, picking out something lovely and getting back, so I caved and hit up my local Albertson’s, who actually must have recently hired someone who’s beer IQ slightly higher than his hat size as there were more than a few options that looked interesting.
The New Belgium, Lips of Faith “Eric’s Ale” looked intriguing and when I saw that it was a sour Ale and made with Peaches, it somehow found it’s way into my basket. NB will always have a place in my heart for what they did with La Folie and how that opened my eyes (and taste buds) to the style.
I was looking for somehting a little more “blue collar” to go with what I was putting together for a late dinner and so I went with the Lagunitas IPA also. Both in the 22oz super size. Cuz, I mean, it’s a better deal that way.. ahem.
I couldn’t just have beer for dinner…well, not again, so I made my way to the deli section. I had always admired a bit the nice (for a supermarket) selection of small and over-priced wedges of impiorted cheeses. Sudenly it struck me, a beer and cheese tasting sounded like a great way to end the day.
Not knowing what most of what I saw tasted like, or even how to pronounce many of them, “Hickory Smoked” rang a bell and I picked up a 5oz chunk of Rambol Fume’
Basically it is smoked Gruyere’ and is quite tasty over the Fire Roasted Tomato & Olive oil Triscuits that transported them unto my gaping maw. s I read a little more about what I am stuffing in my face, I find that actually it is a processed Gruyere “style” cheese that is smoked. Oh well, this is where I pull out the “I may not know much about art…but I know what I like” bit and load up another cracker.
As far as a “pairing” I would say that the IPA blows out the fairly subtle creamy smokiness of the fermented curd, which in turn is also more than matched my the herbal spices of the crackers. Not exactly a symphony of flavors, more of a drunken bar fight where each combatant takes it in turn to deliver a wild “hay-maker” to the other and fall to the floor only to get back up again for his turn. With 4-1 odds on the cheese… to show.
The brew was as expected. Plenty of “west-coast” hop flavor and just enough bitterness to give it that lip smacking dry pucker power that draws me to the style. I am sure I have said it before but it bears repeating. Lagunitas has an excellent “bang for the buck” factor and while very few (that I can think of) of theirs are top tier, very few are disappointing. And almost always 3-4$ for a 22. It’s like a trusted friend in the cold-box at the store.
A good effort though on my maiden endeavor at haute-cuisine, and a nice late night snack.