What could be more fitting for our continuing beer and cheese adventures than to try a special beer from the man who inspired us in the first place?
Brooklyn Local 1 is bottle-conditioned (and a very nice bottle it is, too). The Brooklyn Brewery website describes it as “a dynamic complex of flavors, Belgian flair, Brooklyn fortitude and a dusting of our special yeast” and it lives up to this. It is Duvel-like in its mouthfeel and drinkability, with a sweet orange flavour giving way to a spicy aftertaste. It’s jolly good.
We tried pairing it with a range of cheses. A posh, rather gooey camembert from our local deli made it sweeter and reminded us of Hoegaarden Grand Cru, accentuating the spice. A very nice Wensleydale complemented the spice, but was overpowered by the beer very easily. Our difficult-to-match Oxford Blue was OK, but made the beer taste much less complex.
The overall winner (in fact, the best beer and cheese match we’ve had yet) was the aptly named Stinking Bishop. This rind-washed cult classic made the beer much more intense and full-bodied, while the beer brought out the creaminess in the cheese and helped to downplay its challenging odour. Marvellous. There’s something in this cheese and beer business after all.