A Wayward Party

David | Blog | June, 28 2012 | No Comment

Last Saturday I was invited to a party at the home of Dan and Mary Luksetich in Manhattan, Ill. It’s also the home of Wayward Brewing Co., Dan’s homebrewing enterprise that is morphing into a nano brewery.  To celebrate, Dan hosted a tasting over the weekend, and asked me to come and pair some cheeses with the beers. Dan and Mary were also demonstrating a new Android app for managing a home cellar.

Jasper Hill's Conundrum was a hit.

Jasper Hill's Conundrum was a hit.

Dan poured 19 different beers and ciders, some of them being Wayward produce and others being special beers from elsewhere in the U.S. and from around the world. We tasted them against a selection of ten super-nice cheeses from Vermont, Wisconsin and Europe.  Cheese came from Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park. Among the beers, cheeses and pairings that drew the most attention was Conundrum. a cutting edge cheese from Jasper Hill Farm that is basically a collision of two styles of cows milk cheeses–a bloomy rind and washed rind.  It’s based loosely on Jasper’s award winning constant bliss, but with all the washed rind trappings of its Winnemere.  Being a washed rind, this cheese is very aromatic, and I was surprised that the 25 or so guests took to it with so little reluctance. No surprise however that they liked what they tasted. This was a fairly young and relatively firm wheel and the flavor included a mix of tart yogurt and lemon notes, and soft, creamy vanilla and buttery richness. We worked it with a two-year-old Dark Lord and some Westvleteren 12, and they seemed to play pretty nicely together.

Two of waywards most complex beverages were the homegrown press cider and a lambic style beer that was made in conjunction with it.  Dan allowed the apples to ferment spontaneously, and then once the cider was ready saved the dregs and racked a beer onto it for another wild fermentation. Both were tart and refreshing.  We put the beer against three different cheeses—and Essex Street Comte, the Amuse Gouda, and the Vermont Clothbound Cheddar. Each cheese accentuated a different group of flavors in the beer—hop bitterness, fruity yeast flavors and nutty malt flavors. Very nice party and a great chance to try some different combinations and get feedback. Thanks Dan!

If you like this post please share it with others
Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Twitter

© Copyright Reserved Cheese And Cheers 2010. | Site Admin | Log out
Design by: Yoshz