Food + Drink Portland

Portland Beer & Cheese Festival – 11 Pairings You Need to Try

June 24, 2012

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When I heard there would be a first annual (faith people, there can be a first annual!) Portland Beer and Cheese festival I was so thrilled. Two of my favorite things. Then I was sad that it was $27 and you couldn’t buy a ticket at the door. Then I ponied up the money and moved into anticipation mode!

Portland Beer & Cheese Festival was hosted at The Commons with 10 beer and cheese pairings by Portland’s infamous cheesemonger, Steve Jones from Cheese Bar. Chop also made an appearance for those interested in eating little pieces of meat with their beer. More cheese for me!

So I planned to photograph every beer and cheese pairing, and then I somehow skipped one! It was a great event and I’ll definitely be pairing up some of these cheeses/beers again. IPA and blue cheese? Who knew. Fantastic! If I had to be a beer & cheese pairing (like your spirit animal, hello otter), this would be it. The pairings went from light to dark and here they all are.

The Beer & Cheese pairings:

Beer: Solera Berlinerweiss/Grisette Blend
Cheese: Sartori Bellavitano (cow)
Verdict: People were going b-a-n-a-n-a-s for this one. Yes, it was good. However, it’s just not my favorite style of beer in the world — sour.

Beer: Upright Brewing Offen Weisse
Cheese: Mountina (cow)
Verdict: Apparently, the first two were blind paired because the samples didn’t come in time. I wouldn’t have guessed it was this one.  So I couldn’t tell you specifically what was good about this pairing. But it went together really well. Helpful, I know.

Beer: Gigantic Rauchweizen and the Bandit
Cheese: Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Brindisi (Cow)
Verdict: Willamette Valley is one of my fav cheese companies. I loved this combo. In one word: smokey.

Beer: Double Mountain Das Boot Alt
Cheese: Tumalo Farm Pondhopper (goat)
Verdict: This one was a little darker. Also, it went well with the goat cheese, which was from Central Oregon (yes, please!).

Beer: Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale
Cheese: Abbave de Belloc (sheep)
Verdict: Loved this one. Since the festival was held at The Commons, I was a little apprehensive that the beers might be a little Belgien/sour skewed, but all was well.

Beer: The Commons Flemish Kiss
Cheese: Samish Bay Aged Ladysmith (cow)
Verdict: Honestly, I don’t remember this one too much. Although, I forgot to take notes on it. Mmmm cheese.

Beer: Hopworks Abbey Ale
Cheese: Uniekaas Vintage Grand Ewe (sheep)
Verdict: Mmm…. beer… and cheese.

Beer: Oakshire Perfect Storm
Cheese: Hook’s 5-Year Cheddar (cow)
Verdict: oh man, this cheese did me in. So rich. Was definitely glad to be hitting the IPAs finally.

Beer: Widmer Brewing Pitch Black IPA
Cheese: Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue (cow)
Verdict: IPA is my favorite beer and blue cheese is my favorite cheese.  A match made in heaven. I came back for this one with my extra drink ticket and Steve remembered that I loved blue cheese so I got another slice! Thanks!

Beer: Block 15 Figgy Puddy
Cheese: Colston-Basset Stilton (cow)
Verdict: the last official pairing. This one wasn’t my favorite, (a little too sweet/malty for me). It went well with the cheese though.

Portland Beer and cheese festival pairings

Portland Beer & Cheese Festival
Festival Info & Tickets
The Commons Brewery
Sunday, June 17

The only real critique I had was The Commons space got hot pretty quickly (not the best combo with cheese). Also, there was a shortage of places to set things down. This made it hard to balance the punch card, a glass, a plate, and my bag).

Overall, it was a great event. 11 ounces of cheese in my belly, and 11 beers, I was glad we paced ourselves over 4-ish hours. Adding this one to my annual list of summer beer fun in Portland!

Have you been to the Portland Beer and Cheese Festival?

  • Thesoybean
    June 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Holy smokes, that’s a lot of cheese, friend. Also, did you know your DNA is such that you can’t taste bitters, or at least you dont respond to them? Yes, I know YOUR DNA. ;)