Welcome to this edition of Beer & Cheese Pairings. This week, we have three beautifully aged cheddars to pair with Bike Dog Brewing’s hoppy Mosaic pale ale. Traditionally, pale ales are a good choice for cheddars, so I chose this extra bold beer to pair with the three sharp cheeses. Let’s jump right in.
Mosaic Pale Ale from Bike Dog Brewing is an extremely hoppy American Pale Ale. Aside from hops, it shows off piney, tropical, and citrus tones. Its mild bitter finish doesn’t linger, but gives way to a muted sweetness from the malts. This strong flavor profile should match well with these three aged cheddars.
Aged New York Cheddar from McCadam Cheese is the youngest of the three cheeses, being aged for just one year. While this cheese is definitely sharp, it is extremely mild compared to the others. It has a beautiful robustness and smooth texture. This cheese paired nicely with the pale ale. Together, they melded into a nice combo that was only slightly knocked off balance by the heavy hops in the beer.
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese from Black Creek®, a brand of DCI Cheese, is a delectable cheese out of Wisconsin that has been aged 3 ½ years. Made by certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers, the cheese is full, rich, and sharp in flavor with a crumbly texture. With the beer, this was my favorite pairing of the day. There was just enough sharpness to form a nice partnership with the beer’s hops, developing a very nice flavor and mouthfeel.
Grand Reserve Cheddar from Black Diamond is one of Canada’s most well-known cheddar. While the “Grand Reserve” distinction signifies that the cheddar has been aged a minimum of two years, this cheese is 5 years into it’s aging. It is made from raw milk and features an extremely sharp and tangy flavor. As expected after pairing with the 3 ½ year cheddar, this cheese slightly overpowered the ale. It was still a close second because the tangy notes in the cheese were really nice with the malty aftertones of the beer.
Be sure to check back next week for another all-new edition of Beer & Cheese Pairings.