Portland Beer & Cheese Fest 2013

Welcome to photos of Portland Beer and Cheese Fest 2013, returning for the 2nd year yesterday and finishing off PDX Beer Week was the Portland Beer and Cheese Festival! I loved it last year (see my post it on last year), and this year was another winning repeat. The event, which was again all by advanced ticket so as to control the amount of attendees and prepare tastings accordingly, paired 10 beers from 10 local breweries each with an artisan cheese courtesy of World Champion Cheesemonger  Steve Jones of Cheese Bar and in addition Chop butchery provided complimentary charcuterie at a table for your own savory meat cleanser/complement as needed. I mean, just look at Chop’s amazing meat board, which they kept filled during the event!

Portland Beer and Cheese Fest 2013: charcuterie provided by Chop Butchery Portland Beer and Cheese Fest 2013: charcuterie provided by Chop Butchery Portland Beer and Cheese Fest 2013: charcuterie provided by Chop Butchery

The event takes place at the Commons Brewery, although as noted the beers come from a variety of breweries.

Here were the ten pairings of this event:

  1. Pfriem Family Brewers: Wit, paired with Fern’s Edge Dairy Mt. Zion, raw goat, Oregon. The Wit was a light beer that was refreshing and had a good yeasty body, even a bit of spice characteristic to it that was paired with the aged Mt Zion cheese whose little bits of crystallized crunch that like with this Wit, offered some surprise pockets of flavor in what you assumed was going to be mildness.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Pfriem Family Brewers Wit, paired with Fern’s Edge Dairy Mt. Zion, raw goat, Oregon
  2. Solera Brewery: The Fez (sour farmhouse blend), paired with Central Coast Creamery Goat Gouda, goat, California, was my favorite pairing of beer and cheese with the slightly dry crumbly Gouda being brought to life with the tartness of the Fez, while the Gouda tamed the sour a bit. I love this beer by itself, but kept taking little nibbles of the cheese and then washing it down with the beer and being amazed at how the two came together into something new.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Solera Brewery The Fez sour farmhouse blend, paired with Central Coast Creamery Goat Gouda, goat, California
  3. Double Mountain Brewery: Pink Peppercorn Saison, paired with Ancient Heritage Hannah, raw sheep and cow, Oregon. I love both of these, and could easily just drink that Pink Peppercorn Saison with its long tail of slight pepperyness tickling my tongue by itself all summer long. I am a fan of Ancient Heritage Dairy and the toasty nutty flavors of the Hannah, but I was not picking up how they were working together, just that they were both really good individually and together they were still good, just not adding up to anything new that I could perceive. I was still quite happy to have found something from Double Mountain I like, as their very hop-forward styles in their beers and my personal preference of not loving IPAs and bitterness have usually meant their beers and I have not gotten along (although F loves them and typically gets passed the beer to further enjoy after I only get through 20% of it).
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Double Mountain Brewery Pink Peppercorn Saison, paired with Ancient Heritage Hannah, raw sheep and cow, Oregon
  4. Upright Brewing: Vienna Lager, paired with Vintage Cheese Company Mountina, raw cow, Montana. I was surprised at how much I liked this Lager style beer, it had more flavor and malt and toast characteristics than I originally judged from the name and thinking about the lagers of Sam Adams and Asia. The Mountina cheese that I thought had a nice butteryness and grassiness while being reminiscent of an Emmentaler cheese in its slight sweetness, bringing out a little bit more of the also slight sweetness in the Vienna Lager.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Upright Brewing Vienna Lager, paired with Vintage Cheese Company Mountina, raw cow, Montana
  5. The Commons Brewery: CCB ESB, paired with Neal’s Yard Dairy Montgomery’s Cheddar, raw cow, U.K. Usually I find a cheddar is pretty strong in profile to have with a beer by itself (though SO mysteriously heh if it’s on a cheeseburger, game on!). And, I don’t often like ESB because the bitterness can be more pronounced sometimes and it depends when the balance of the malts kick in (despite the name, the Extra Special Bitter is supposed to be more balanced, not just more bitter). But I was surprised that I really liked The Commons CCB ESB in that it had some fruitiness to it that reminded me of how balanced crafted classic cocktails use bitters but add a kick- this ESB had a unique flavor profile, and it paired well with the cheddar providing more emphasis on the fruitiness and maltiness that seemed to not need a cheeseburger to bring out some savoryness. I was really impressed.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, The Commons Brewery CCB ESB, paired with Neal’s Yard Dairy Montgomery’s Cheddar, raw cow, U.K.
  6. Widmer Brothers: Alt, paired with Willamette Valley Cheese Company, Boerenkaas, raw cow, Oregon. The Altbier, as you would expect, was light and smooth, with some hoppiness to it. The buttery softness of the Borenkaas tried to counter this hop but given my preference of not liking a lot of hop, I had to help this one along with some Chop charcuterie. I think I had 3 helpings of the Chop bourbon chicken liver mousse on little toasts.  I have no problem eating that whole wrapped pate they still at the Portland Farmers Market just by myself.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Widmer Brothers Alt, paired with Willamette Valley Cheese Company, Boerenkaas, raw cow, Oregon
  7. Block 15 Brewing: Visage de Palm, Biere de Garde, paired with four-month Manchego, raw sheep, Spain. The sweet funkiness of the Visage de Palm and the pairing with nutty tangy Manchego made sense, but was even better with more Chop salami thrown into the mix. I often lean towards their pates but this time I also had the opportunity to sample all their salamis and am in love.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Block 15 Brewing Visage de Palm, Biere de Garde, paired with four-month Manchego, raw sheep, Spain
  8. Breakside / Gigantic Brewery: Portland Beer Week India Wild Ale, paired with Quadrello di Buffala, water buffalo, Italy. I was getting tired. You can see from my punchcard this is my 9th beer, and the hop was enjoyed by others but not me particularly. The Quadrello di Buffala was the most pungent cheese among all the pairings, and the fact it had this bit of barnyard seemed to go well with the beer’s wild hoppiness for a very earthy experience
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Breakside and Gigantic Brewery Portland Beer Week India Wild Ale, paired with Quadrello di Buffala, water buffalo, Italy
  9. Oakshire Brewing: Auslaufen Rauchbier (cherry wood smoked ale), paired with Rogue Smokey Blue, raw cow, Oregon. The Rauchbier had a very light smoke, and the smoke from the Rogue blue cheese with its creamy saltiness echoed that smoke
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, Oakshire Brewing Auslaufen Rauchbier (cherry wood smoked ale), paired with Rogue Smokey Blue, raw cow, Oregon
  10. 10 Barrel Brewing: Herbes des Provence Baltic Porter, paired with Black Sheep Creamery Mopsey’s Best, raw sheep, Washington. We chose to start out with this beer and hey, I like Porters and the fact that it had this herbiness in the tasty cheese was a unique start. Together, the pairing complemented it like the cheese was the “topping” or “steak crust” if you will to a substantial flavorful entree of that porter. I had never heard of this beer so felt special that I was able to be the first to try it at this event as F became the first to check in after he entered it onto Untappd database.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, beer and cheese pairing, The Commons Berwery, Steve's Cheese, 10 Barrel Brewing Herbes des Provence Baltic Porter, paired with Black Sheep Creamery Mopsey’s Best, raw sheep, Washington

I enjoyed the Portland Beer and Cheese Fest, just like last year. It was never so crowded that there were more than a few people in front of me, and most of the time I could just walk up and ask for my taster and sample. The Punchcards helped suggest an order as well as provide information about the beer and cheese that would be in the pairing. Similar to last year it was still hard to balance the glass of beer while eating the cheese while standing, but understand it takes up space to have barrels or cocktail tables that could otherwise be occupied by people standing.

I still think it is one of my favorite beer events all year, and particularly it brings out a generally sophisticated beer drinking crowd that wants to think and savor what they are having rather and how everything tastes than just taste a lot of beer (no WOOoooos during the entire event!). I saw several brewers and Steve mingling and checking in to ensure everyone has enough for the pairings and everything is running smoothly as well as answer questions. I  hope this event will three-peat next year!

KPTV – FOX 12

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Comments

  1. YUM. I just recently did a beer and BBQ tasting the other day. It was wonderful… but, the whole time I was wondering if we could pair Beer and Cheese together like you would for a wine and cheese pairing. Great post– I’ll have to try some of these pairings!

    • I’ve also done a party where I asked everyone to bring a bottle of wine (or 22 oz of beer) with a paired cheese, it is a fun take on a potluck!

  2. Jason Stanley says:

    Wow, those all look amazing! How was the Red Hot Chub?

    • They were ALL amazing. I confess, I don’t specifically remember because after a few beers the various salami I had carefully arranged on my plate in a fan I could not remember the order I picked them. I’ll have to try it again. For science.

  3. Oh my goodness, this looks like such a great event!

    • This was a great event, and it seemed like there were many happy fathers, it was sorta cute seeing some father and son drinking and eating…

  4. I like the valuable ihfo youu provide in your articles.
    I willl bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
    I am quite sure I’ll learn a lot of nnew stuff righjt here!

    Best of luck for the next!

Trackbacks

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  3. […] Sunday, we once again (just like my recap in 2013 and my recap in 2012) spent Father’s Day (after calling my dad earlier in the morning of […]

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