GREAT STARTING POINT

David | Blog | February, 22 2010 | No Comment

It’s Winnimere season in Chicago. No, this has nothing to do with pitchers and catchers reporting to camp. Winnimere is the outstanding beer-washed cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. The folks at Jasper Hill release it seasonally, and the first shipment arrived just a couple weeks ago at Marion Street Cheese Market, my local cheesemonger in Oak Park, one of Chicago’s contiguous suburbs.
Winnimere, is a great starting point for a blog about beer and cheese. It’s a celebration of extracurricular micro-organisms. It pays homage to old-world cheeses (it’s wrapped in bark), but asserts its own bold personality that’s not for the meek and the cautious. And in the end it is just plain delicious.
If this has a ring of familiarity for my beer geek friends, there’s a reason for that. Cheesemakers like Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill and brewers like Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Ales, in Dexter, Mich. have been busy in recent years applying a similar passion and aesthetic to two distinct, yet sympathetic crafts. The results, for those of us who enjoy flavorful food and memorable drink, have been nothing short of amazing.
Sometime in the next few days I’ll bring together some friends, the Winnimere, and a couple other American farmstead cheeses. We’ll toss in some of the grain squeezins from Jolly Pumpkin, and The Bruery of Orange County, Calif., and we’ll see how they all get along. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.
This new blog’s Raison d’être (hey, wait, maybe we need a Dogfish Head beer in there too…) is to explore the relationship between beer and cheese, and especially the parallels between the fresh, exciting Craft Beer and Artisan Cheese (capitalized for emphasis) communities and movements in the United States. That’s the central idea, anyway. We’ll explore some other things in the periphery. Please join us and enjoy the ride!

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