Welcome to this edition of Beer & Cheese Pairings. This week, I’ve got three strong and flavorful cheeses to pair with The Hop Concept’s Lemon & Grassy IPA. Let’s get started.
Lemon & Grassy from The Hop Concept is a summer IPA that offers tangy, floral hops on the nose and features aromas of fresh-cut grass and lemon peel. It has a burst of lemon zest with the first sip and then develops a hint of spice from the hops and a faint caramel malt backbone. It should pair nicely with these strong cheeses.
Seastack is a northwest soft-ripened original from Mt. Townsend Creamery. This cheese has complex earthy flavors the develop as it ripens from the outside inward. The ripened areas develop an earthy, garlic flavor and the interior maintains a bright citrus flavor. This cheese paired beautifully with the beer, emphasizing the pleasant flavor of both.
Quatro Pepe Capream is a semi hard, pure goat milk cheese from Nicolau Farms. It is made with four “Quatro” different peppercorns “Pepe.” It has a firm and creamy texture, and the peppercorns give it a bold and intense flavor with a balance of salt and pepper. This was my favorite cheese of the day, but it wasn’t the best when paired with the beer. The peppercorns over took its light and citrus tones.
El Cuco is a goat cheese from Lagunilla, Spain that is imported by Tony’s Fine Foods. It is a semi soft cheese that has a slightly harsh taste. It is made by curing the cheese curds and adding paprika. It is aged for a minimum of two months to allow the cheese to develop its strong taste. This cheese also slightly overpowered the beer when paired. That being said, however, it did pair beautifully with a strawberry and basil jam.
Make sure to tune into the next installment of Beer & Cheese Pairings!