Autumnal Craft Beer & French Cheese Pairings

There’s nothing better than a cold, autumnal beer as the sun sets on a long week.

Praying for a crisp whisper in the air that takes the night just an inch closer to winter, you find a dusky October (or one of its compatriots), ready to steady you for a blanketed night of deep, motherly comfort.

Biting. Bitter. Cold.

There’s a crisp refreshment in the pointed side of an Autumnal ale. Something that bites you with its hug.

It’s a certain balanced dichotomy. Something loving, something bitter. Fall has arrived, and with it comes change – in leaves, and in beer. Let’s embrace the season.

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Green Cheek Brewing & Firestone Walker Collaboration 

Fest Friends (Oktoberfest-Style Lager) – ABV 5.0%

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It was a long day.

We all have that one – where you’re just done. You’ve given your time, you’ve begrudgingly, and somehow gently, adopted the Salaryman title, and you just want a beer.

Give me something – something seasonal.

Toasted malt tickles your tastebuds. Dry crispness lingers on the end.

Next to you there’s an unexpected partner. With a shared, solemn, and understanding nod, you glance glasses, silently salute, and take another draught. Not quite best friends – just Fest Friends.

Fest friends is that friend that gets you in trouble – that fools you- maybe I could have just one more. Maybe I could just wake up late tomorrow. It’s the friend with a dark joke loaded at all times – but you know he means well.

It’s there to tempt you – maybe just one more stein of goodness?

Fest Friends is a must-have. Delicious, delectable, and a perfect pivot to the season.

I know what you’re thinking – this beer needs a snack!

Abbaye De Belloc

Region: Commune of Belloc in Southwestern France)

Milk: Sheep

Status: The FDA has stopped shipments of Abbaye De Belloc into the US due to cheese preparation. So if you stumble upon it, cherish it. It won’t be available back in the US anytime soon.

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Have your cheese – and drink it too. When you come down from the clouds with a hearty ale in hand, this cheese is here for you.

It’s fresh sheep’s milk, aged in caves from hundreds of years past by Benedictine monks. A delicate nuttiness loiters on your palette – feels like silken Egyptian cotton sheets. A galaxy of ever orbiting competition; a dance of flavors – gamey sheep’s milk, brown butter caramel. A gentle, and somehow harmonically chaotic balance that sways from savory-to-sweet. The beer works with the cheese – they act as partners.

Well, more properly, the beer worked with the cheese – it seems my glass is empty. Time to get some more crisp beer.

Docent Brewing (San Juan Capistrano)

The Stallion (Hop Brown Ale) – ABV 7.5%

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The stallion rides but once a year. Galloping hither from the hop fields’ harvest to the brewer’s kettle in under 36 hours, his bounty of wet Simcoe hops, with with fragrant hop oils (along with a litany of other flavor -compounds which aren’t present in the traditionally kiln-dried hops we use all year long). Behold – notes of flame-kissed stonefruit, citrus peel, and rustic pine riding atop roasted pecan, caramel, and milk chocolate in a medium bodied, unbridled brown ale. Legend holds it takes 3 drinks to harness the stallion. Drink, Stallion – you are thirsty now.

Bleu D’Auvergne 

Region: Auvergne Region of Southern France

Milk: Cow

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This hearty ale deserves a cheese that can stand up to it. A pungent bleu cheese – Bleu De Auvergne should serve nicely.

Vibrant. Funky. Never dull. The twangy creaminess of this delight elevates the deep notes of The Stallion to another level. Each sip invites another bite – and every bite a sip. Kick back, relax, and enjoy this sunset on your palate. After all, fall comes but once a year.

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