19 December 2011

Beer and Cheese Club - December Edition

To round off 2011, the Beer and Cheese Club bucks the trend of huge imperial beers that need to be rested for 6-12 months or more and takes a more friendly approach.  This month's pairing is something that you can bring with you to your Christmas gatherings.  Uerige Altbier is one of the quintessential altbiers from Dusseldorf, a great traditional German style that might be foreign to inexperienced beer drinkers.  Trugole is an Italian cheese, similar in both flavor and origin to Asiago and a cheese that's not too strong to ward off people unfamiliar with the style.

'Tis the season to share your love of beer and cheese with friends and family, and this month's pairing provides the perfect conversation starter.  If you're a member of the Beer and Cheese Club at Goose the Market, your December installment is likely ready for you to pick up right now. If you're not a member, the club is $99 for 4 months.  Beer and Cheese also makes a lot better gift than a simple beer of the month club, so don't forget to inquire about gift memberships!

There is something most interesting with the cheese here.  As I let the cheese coat the top of my tongue, it made my tongue feel like it was burnt.  The sensation didn't linger, and the cheese didn't actually burn my tongue, of course, but the sensation held something remarkably similar.  The lightly-spiced fruitiness in the cheese paired well with those same aromas in the altbier.  There was also something earthy to the beer, grassy, perhaps.

Thanks GtM for another great pairing!

Uerige alt - sweet pear cereal nose, but the beer goes u-turn on that nose when tasting. Not much on front, works sides of the tongue w/ a peppery and slightly sweet bite throughout.

Cheese is immediately agreeable, tart and biting, working the part of the tongue ignored by the beer. Creamy!

I personally was expecting a huge beer that would need an even bigger cheese to stand up to it for the Christmas season.  One could say that I was both surprised and confused when I found a bottle of Uerige Altbier sitting on the table.  Uerige is one of my favorite Alts, as it carries with it 150 years of tradition.  Many regions of Germany are known for a specific style of beer, and Alt is Dusseldorf's beer.  Alt is not a strong beer; it carries with it a refreshing suite of malt flavors.  As with many German beers, the complexity of Alt lies within its simplicity.  Much of the flavor is derived entirely from the choice of malts, imparting nutty, sweet and slightly roasted flavors with a delicate balance of dryness at the finish.  This beer is great for both summer and winter and is very flexible when it comes to food pairings.

The Trugole cheese is from the Asiago valley and is only aged for 2-3 months.  It is a sweet, creamy and slightly grassy cheese with nutty notes in the background.  With a beer like an Altbier, it would be very easy for a cheese to overpower it.  Instead, this month's pairing aims for balance.  The beer and cheese are both very complimentary, and the flavors of both stand out throughout the pairing.  In many pairings, the flavors change and evolve, building off of each other, but with the pairing of Altbier and Trugole, the two live in harmony.  This works great as a holiday snack.

To join the Beer and Cheese Club at Goose the Market (in conjunction with Hoosier Beer Geek), check out this PDF and then either call Goose the Market at 317-924-4944 or stop in the shop at 2503 N. Delaware St.

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