Sussex Beer and Cheese Pairing
Beer and Cheese Pairing is not a quick or easy task (although definitely not the worst job you could ever ask for!).
There are infinite pairings as taste selection is such a personal experience. So, choosing the combinations for our Sussex Beer and Cheese Pairing hamper we have set out to think about how and where and how you might choose to share (or not share) your platter and what flavour combinations work best.
Are you going to share your hamper or enjoy a delicious platter with a film or settle for the evening with a great book? Serve at teatime a melting Welsh Rarebit with a sweet, mellow ale or a powerful aged cheese delicately balanced with a dab of rose petal jelly? Or, on a sunny evening, cheese and biscuits alfresco as a spontaneous picnic. So, after many notes and tests, we’ve come up with our favourite selection for you.
Sussex Charmer and Long Man Brewery Long Blonde
Here our thoughts are veering towards the award-winning Sussex Charmer cheese matched with an Long Blonde beer from the Long Man Brewery. The sweetness of the cheese combines with the botanical freshness of the beer.
A rich beer (save a drizzle for the Rarebit) to give caramel tones to this punchy, mature cheese. Sussex Charmer is an unusual cheese made by Rob Bookham from Bookham Harrison. Rob honed his famous cheese recipe back in 2008, which is a unique combination of traditional cheddar flavour with that of parmesan. Rob uses milk is from his own herd of welfare-assured Jersey/Frisian cross cows at Pallinghurst Farm in Rudgwick, West Sussex.
We see this as a truly modern cheese with a flavour that pops when melted on toast or pasta. Even better, this is Vegetarian Society approved.
Long Blonde has a hoppy flavour and a light, crisp mouthfeel. With this combo, the crispness of the beer cleanses the pallette between bites and the honeyed aftertaste tempers the saltiness of the mature cheddar/parmesan flavour.
Sussex Brie and Dark Star Hophead Beer
The blonde fresh ale we opted to combine with the lighter, creamy Sussex Brie by Allsop and Walker. Arthur Allsop and Nic Walker make their cheese following a mixture of traditional and modern methods, with their own twist to make this exciting cheese. The Sussex Brie has a soft, creamy, grassy flavour with an edible white rind. Left to itself will become stronger in flavour and lasts for around seven weeks. Eaten at room temperature, this is meltingly sublime.
Dark Star Hophead is a clean-drinking golden ale with a strong floral aroma and elderflower notes. You’ll find that the gentle, almost grapefruit, finish doesn’t overpower the delicate Brie. Lightly carbonated and not over alcoholic, you’d be surprised that it’s only 3.8% ABV.
Brighton Blue Cheese and Hepworth Conqueror Stout
We have chosen a beautiful combination of Brighton Blue cheese with Hepworth Conqueror Stout. The salty creaminess flavour of the cheese texture works well with the caramel tones of the beer.
Brighton Blue has a slightly open, semi-soft texture, with a mellow blue flavour and fragrant aroma. This isn’t a really blue cheese but packs the power of the blue flavour while still allowing the creamy buttery cheese its space. During maturation, the wheels develop their own attractive natural edible rind. This cheese is vegetarian.
The Hepworth Conqueror Stout is a dark beer with an ABV of 4.8%. Triple filtered and sweetly rich in flavour, this is perfect summery stout to drink slightly chilled.
So finally, we recommend enjoying your cheese with our Biscuits for Cheese, baked by Lesley at Horsham Gingerbread. A rich oat and butter biscuit flavoured with cayenne pepper, sea salt and a hint of allspice. These delightful little biscuits are sweetened slightly with Muscovado sugar to intensify the flavour of the cheese.
Topping off your cheese and biscuits is the addition of a jar of delicate Boarshead Pear chutney. This is just sweet enough for flavour with a touch of added spice but delicate pear doesn’t take over the whole experience or whack you over the head with vinegar flavour.
What better gift for a foodie gift than the winning combination of beer and cheese?