Formaggio Kitchen and Night Shift Brewing
Formaggio Kitchen is known for being one of the top cheese importers in the country, and Night Shift Brewing is one of my favorite local breweries, so when I saw the chance to take a class on pairing different Night Shift beers with awesome cheeses, I had to sign up.
We started with Whirlpool as an amuse bouche. Whirlpool is a pale ale made with Mosaic hops named after part of the brewing cycle.
Night Shift Brewing makes a great saison called Belafonte, and we tried it first with Comté Fort Saint Antoine, a cow's milk cheese from Jura, France. After the excellent Comté, we tried the saison with Chèvre Du Haut Bearn, a goat's milk cheese from Pyrénées, France. Both were pretty good, but the Comté was definitely the superior pairing.
To go with Diagonal, a lightly sour, dry-hopped Berliner-Weisse/pale ale mix, we first tried Lea's Great Meadow, a goat's milk cheese from Ruggles Hill Creamery in Hardwick, MA. This was an excellent complement to the beer and was one of my favorite pairings of the evening. Verano, a sheep's milk cheese from Vermont Shepherd in Putney, VT, followed, and while not as impressive, was still really good.
My favorite beer of the evening was the Trifecta Belgian pale ale, made with three different Trappist yeasts. It went well with the Ouleout, a cow's milk cheese from Vulto Creamery in Hamden, NY, but went even better with Tunworth, also a cow's milk cheese, but from Herrlard Hampshire in the United Kingdom.
Our final Night Shift beer was the 87, a double IPA named after the address of the brewery. We tried it first with Bayley Hazen Blue, an amazing cow's milk cheese from the Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont, and then with Colston Bassett Stilton, also a cow's milk cheese, but from Neal's Yard Dairy in the United Kingdom. As much as I love Bayley Hazen Blue, I have to admit, the Stilton was the better pairing in the final round.