There are few things more satisfying after a long, hard day's work than to hear the tantalizing sound of the cap being removed from a bottle of beer. Can I hear an Amen? Unless that sound is a cork being pulled from a wine bottle. My ears love that one too. But being in the wine business, there are days when all you want is a COLD BEER. And that day, my friends, was today. I tasted around 40 wines today, and I had an acute case of palate fatigue. Until, that is, my lips touched the first sips of a cold German Pilsner. We had a German beer tasting tonight in the shop and Clever (our wine bar) and the effect on me was something between hearing a yodeler and listening to the sweet melodies of a dulcimer...jolting me to life and then relaxing the nerves. Thanks to Jared, our beer distributor, for being that guy.
My favorite of the night, which I am still drinking as I write this, is the Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock (pictured). It strikes me immediately as a wine drinker's kind of beer, as it is full of aromatics and is a natural match for food. On the nose, you instantly get notes of bread dough and yeast, mingled with lightly roasted nuts, and sweet aromas of apricot and honey. Mmmm! The palate carries a sweet maltiness with the nuttiness carrying through with delicate notes of white flower. I promise!
My perfect pair for this beer would be cheeses with a little funk, like washed rind cheeses, such as Petit Munster, Livarot and Raclette from France, and Ardrahan from Ireland. This beer can handle it. For those faint of heart, try harder cheeses, such as Manchego, Idiazabal, Landaff, and Piave. The nuttiness in both the cheeses and beer complement each other beautifully. Even better, Manchego and Idiazabal love sweet elements as their accompaniment, so the apricot, honey, and floral notes are a match made in beer and cheese heaven.
I think I've said enough. Cheers!