If you don't think that cheese is one of the greatest food groups of all time, you're probably not in the right place. That's right, cheese is a food group all of its own...in my universe anyway. If you do think that cheese is something to be praised, worshipped, or enshrined you should definitely keep reading.
A solid charcuterie board is truly one of life's simple pleasures. This variety of aged meats and cheeses with savory accoutrements displays a well executed flavor profile even the most sophisticated palates can appreciate. Add craft beer into this mix and my mind is completely blown.
For our charcuterie board, I selected a variety of aged meats and cheese to accompany our beer pairings. For the meats, I selected genoa salami, prosciutto, and capocolla. For the cheeses, I chose Brie, Chèvre, and Sharp Cheddar. The Brie I picked up at a local wine and craft beer shop is quite possibly the best Brie I have ever had.
Funky on the outside and smooth buttery goodness on the inside. A cheese to die for. The Brie paired so extremely well with the first beer we poured, Hi Wire Brewing Co. Sour Blonde Ale.
Sour Blonde is the first beer Hi Wire released as part of their new sour and wild ale program. Tapping in at 6.75% ABV, it is a blonde ale brewed with brettanomyces, lactobacillus and pediococcus then aged in American oak red wine barrels and bottle conditioned. The aroma brings funky barnyard and tart apricot. Upon tasting, I immediately noticed the brett characteristics which quickly transform to pithy citrus and quite acidic on the tongue. The depth of flavors and layers in Sour Blonde showcase a wonderful first sour beer for Hi Wire Brewing (no wonder they won an award at GABF in 2016!)
One of my favorite pairings is Chèvre (goat cheese) with this Fig spread. The pairing of tangy, sharp goat cheese with the sweet fig spread is a mouth watering combination. This pairing went really well with the second beer we poured, Wicked Weed Brewing Angel of Darkness.
Angel of Darkness is a barrel-aged American Sour. According to their website, the beer is blended with 1.5 pounds per gallon of boysenberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries before it is aged in Oloroso sherry casks. The beer ages for 14 months in these casks before it is then transferred to stainless steel tanks and again blended with 1.5 pounds per gallon of the aforementioned fruit. After 2 months in the steel tanks, the beer is ready to bottle and imbibe. The first thing I picked up after pouring Angel of Darkness was an aroma of cherry soda. Not like a cheap cherry soda, but the kind of cherry soda you would order from a bar with grenadine and cherries added to it. The taste proved the same. I had a very difficult time picking up the flavors of the barrel. I would have preferred it to have a little more tartness, the berry flavors were very cloyingly sweet. However, it complemented the goat cheese and fig spread very well.
While these two beers are completely different, they both bring an interesting profile to the table and paired well with the different cheeses we selected. My preferred pairing was the Hi Wire Sour Blonde with the Italian Brie. But honestly, the entire board made up our dinner and we chowed down while watching That Awkward Moment, one of our favorite movies. If you haven't seen it (or had any of these things at all) you should probably get on that.