There’s little I enjoy more than giving a tasting seminar. And yesterday I got to literally feed the beast.

As a guest presenter at First Taste Oregon, we got on stage 3 times to give the following sessions:

Mmmmm! Cooking with Beer & Cheese

Fire Mountain Brew House, Gilgamesh Brewing, and Willamette Valley Cheese Company graciously provided beer for this tasty and sample oriented session. I offered ideas on using beer in cooking, along with cheese – though sometimes both were included, others not. One primary idea shared was to use beer in the cooking of Mac & Cheese. Decide on a complementary beer as well as amount of beer used in the boiling and in the cheese sauce (starting with a bechamel base will up your success). Cooking any remarkably bitter beer will only amplify, in a relatively unpleasant way, the tannins in the hops. Not what you want nor pleasing to most palates. A Porter, Stout, Red, Amber or Brown would be a better choice. The super flavorful Smoky Gouda from Willamette Valley was a spot on match to pair with the Fire Mountain Steam Fired Stout and the Gilgamesh Hopscotch.

Mmm, Ahhh – Smelling & Tasting Your Beer (and other beverages!)

Again, thanks to Fire Mountain for providing beer for the session & Willamette Valley Cheese Company. We’ve featured WVCC before, a few years ago at the first ever beer & cheese tasting the Oregon Cheese Festival had ever had. Suffice it to say the crammed room, Standing Room Only at that session was indicative of the enthusiasm for people to embrace beer and cheese together!

This seminar featured less common WVCC Chive Black Pepper Gouda – wow!! What a perfect example of a food to smell and taste.

Beer & Wine: Together Forever, a Tasting

In addition to the beer, in this session we build the flavor bridge between beer AND wine. There’s every reason to enjoy and explore them both. Get rid of the ‘vs.’, go for the ‘and.’ Try some side by side and explore the similarities and differences. We served the remainder of the WVCC Smoked Gouda (smoked with apple & pear wood I think) and also rolled out the uber delicious Cypress Grove Chevre Humboldt Fog & apparent seminar crowd top pick Midnight Moon. All of them were gone in a flash.

Pyrenees Vineyard & Cellars graciously provided the session with a delicious bottle of their Grenache. Yum!! A big thanks to them letting us include them in the session. I know the guests loved it too!

My thanks to the fantastic hosts – Ingalls Agency, Peter – the super helpful and adept sound pro, and the engaged guests. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did – see you next year to enjoy more flavors together.

p.s. the music at the fest was great – by Brady Goss & salsa band Son Melao

Categories: Beer & Food, Education & Training, Events
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