Iowa’s laws make it fairly difficult for a small dairy girl to get a cheese operation into the commercial realm. So she maintains a massive garden, milks her cows and keeps herself stocked in fresh butter and a variety of cheeses. And she gives good Christmas presents to her family.
Thankfully I know her. And she will trade cheese for beer!
A week ago, we coordinated our schedules and hooked up for a bit of a tasting. And trade. Boy, are my buds happy. She pulled out fresh queso blanco and mozzarella, as well as aged parmesan and colby. I brought along Millstream’s Iowa Pale Ale and Schild Brau, Hub City’s Olde Browne Porter and Viking’s Big Swede. There was also a bottle of chianti sitting on the table, which I tried to confirm that Garrett Oliver is right about red wines sucking with cheese, generally (prolly not a direct quote).
It did suck, but the beers worked quite nicely, and I specifically found myself pleased with Hub City’s Porter.The HC beers all maintain a very restrained level of carbonation, and the porter I always look at as good, but not great. However, it was right fabulous on this day, most likely because it had had an opportunity to warm to a reasonable serving temperature. I must admit that if I happen to pull one out of the cooler, it’s because I’m thirsty and not planning a drink in advance. And don’t warm it up. That cooler is quite cold, so the beer is seldom at its potential.
But it was this day, as were the cheeses and the company.