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Counter Weight Brewing: Cheese, Beer & Wine Pairing

One would think that cheese and wine go together like peanut butter and chocolate, but with today's endless styles of local craft beer the game has changed.

What factors make beer more favorable? No tannins, lower ABV and the big one, BUBBLES!! If you remember anything from this blog post it should be that bubbles assist in cutting through fat and making flavor pop in cheese. Sparkling wine, Champagne, etc follow the same logic. There's a time and place for red wine, but they will require something a little more substantial from your cheese selection.

On this night, we were invited back to our friends at Counter Weight Brewing in Hamden, CT for another round of cheese, wine and beer to showcase to people the possibilities and diversity of today's craft beer in food pairings.

Matt Westfall welcomes everyone and gets into the mechanics of tonight's beer selections for the pairing.

I try desperately to impress 50 hardcore Counter Weight fans that wine is the better choice with my stellar wine lineup.

The "rules" are simple, 4 cheeses, 4 beers, 4 wines. Which one paired better in their respected bracket. Loser gets pelted with either empty beer cans or wine corks.

Odin's Valhalla is actually made by local George Tafuto. Really tasty red blend.

Truly honored that this crew keeps asking me to come back. They truly enjoy what they do and most of all share the same sentiments as us about sharing the experience and knowledge with everyone.

End of the night treat, head brewer Shaun offered to open this bottle of Port wine from 1937. Lots of questions arise when opening something like this most of all "will it be any good?" The wine was phenomenal and held up great. Yes the cork snapped in half and had to be pushed through. We filtered through a coffee filter. Still had decent fruit tones with a caramel sweetness. By luck this bottle was properly stored after it passed through several hands. You never know until you pop that cork.

Oh! So who won the pairing? I'll give it up to the beers and accept defeat this time. Wines did show beautifully, but I think that the styles of cheese we picked out to pair with the beers just edged out the wines. We live to fight another day.

Visit Counter Weight Brewing in Hamden and tell them we sent you. It doesn't get you anything, but it's comforting to let small biz owners know that we're all supporting each other.

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