March 10, 2011

(Cheers} DBGB Beer Pairing - Cantillon and Saxelby Cheese

Some of the most hard to find beers are made by Brasserie Cantillon, a Belgian brewery.  So when Daniel Boulud's DBGB announced that they were featuring these beers at one of their Beer Tasting Tuesday events, I knew I had to attend.  These rare beers were paired with a selection of cheeses from Saxelby Cheesemongers, with the event hosted by Hayley Jensen (Beer Sommelier for DBGB) and Anne Saxelby (Owner and Cheesemonger of Saxelby Cheesemongers). 

Out of all the Cantillon beers tasted (photo, above), the Gueuze was my favorite.  It had great carbonation and a tart, acidic bite.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed the Rosé De Gambrinus.  I don't usually like fruit lambic beers (though my wife is a big fan) because they're usually too sweet.  However, the Rosé was not as sweet as I anticipated, and had a pleasant sourness/mouth puckering style.

Another surprise for me was that I wasn't thrilled about the Cantillon Bruocsella (1900) Grand Cru, as the glass I had seemed to be lacking some acidity and character.  Maybe I have become used to sours and wild ales?  I tried to drink it alone, with cheese, and with the crispy breads and it still seemed dull.  The Faro, a sweetened Gueuze, was kind of sweet and one-dimensional for me.  Overall, this event was definitely worth the visit for the chance to try these  rare beers.
Out of the various cheeses provided by Saxelby, my favorite was the 14 month old Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.  The savory cheese paired well with the Gueuze and the Rose de Gambrinus, as the earthy, grassy quality of the cheese really shines through.  The Old Chatham Shaker Blue held up well against the malty, sweet Faro.  Though the cheese curds were a good snack, I still prefer the fresh curds from Quebec.

The next Beer Tasting Tuesday will be held on April 12 from 5-7pm in the bar area.  Each event is different (so far, there was a sausage/beer pairing and an oysters/beer pairing event) are a great introduction to food and beer parings in a relaxed setting.  At $25 (plus taxes and gratuity), I think these events are a steal for any fan of craft beers.  No reservations required.

DBGB is located at 299 Bowery (btwn Houston Street and 1st Street).

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