The Beer Lover’s Guide To Cheese: Copper Kettle Brewing and The Truffle Cheese Shop
I was lucky enough to attend Copper Kettle Brewing’s Beer and Cheese pairing last Thursday at their brewery in Denver, CO. This event, which is scheduled for the second Thursday of each month at 7 PM, pairs 4 beers from the Copper Kettle lineup with 4 cheeses selected from The Truffle Cheese Shop in Denver.
Upon arrival at the Copper Kettle, my nose was immediately greeted by a delicious aroma of BACON!!! I glanced around looking for a food truck, but found the side street to be empty. I eventually tracked down the amazing smells to a smoker that was prepping the yummy slaps of bacon for the upcoming Makin’ Bacon Brown Ale. Not a bad way to start the night.
The Beer & Cheese pairing is held in the brewhouse, which has enough room for about 15 beer and cheese lovers, seated in smaller groups of 5-6. Each person is given a plate with the 4 cheese selections along with a menu giving the name, pronunciation and information about each one. I really had to restrain myself, as I was very tempted to just dive in and devour the plate. Man, I’m a sucker for a good cheese.
CKBC’s Head Brewer and Owner Jeremy Gobien was on hand to present and talk about each beer being poured.
He was joined by Miguel Vera, a cheesemonger from The Truffle Shop.
I had honestly never heard the term “cheesemonger”, but it’s similar to a wine sommelier or beer cicerone, only they obviously specialize in cheese. I think I might have missed my calling on that one… Miguel explained each cheese to us, while Jeremy gave the history and style explanations of each beer and why it was chosen to be paired with each cheese.
Our four courses were:
1. Montcabrer – a raw goat’s milk cheese from Spain, with a charcoal coated rind. Paired with CKBC’s Heller Doppelbock – a sweet, malty German-style brew.
2. Tomme du Berger – a French cheese, made from raw, mountain cow’s milk. Paired with CKBC’s Altbier – another German-style ale that’s brown, light and refreshing.
3. Chimay – made from cow’s milk by the Trappist monks in Belgium, washed with glorious Chimay beer. The funky aroma can turn people off at first, but the tasty, creamy flavor is sure to pull you back in. I absolutely love this cheese and it was the most popular at my table. This one was paired with CKBC’s Imperial Red – a hoppy, amber ale.
4. Young Sheep Milk Gouda – a sheep’s milk gouda from the Netherlands that is firm in texture, but smooth and nutty in flavor. Paired with CKBC’s Double Black IPA – a malty, British-style IPA, which, even at 78 IBU’s, came off as more sweet than bitter. A really tasty beer that paired well with the cheese and didn’t throttle my palate with bitter hops.
There was plenty of bread and grapes to go around as well.
Miguel had prepared sliced wedges of each cheese if anyone wanted to purchase some to-go. I bought a wedge of Gouda to take home to my wife Patti, since she wasn’t able to attend. I grabbed a fresh growler of Copper Kettle’s Imperial Red for the road as well.
Last week, Jonathan Shikes over at the Westword, broke the news about Copper Kettle’s plans to triple the size of their brewing space next month. At the pairing, Co-owner Kristen Kozick, announced that they’re hoping to hold their August Beer & Cheese event in the new space, which is located directly next door to their current location. In addition to an expanded area for events, the new space will also allow them to produce and store more beer, and eventually expand into barrel-aging. For all the details, check out Big Shikes’ article HERE.
Big Thanks to Copper Kettle Brewing, The Truffle Cheese Shop and all of their employees for collaborating on a great event! It was a fun, informative and tasty night and definitely something I’ll try to attend again in the future.
Copper Kettle Brewing Company is located at: 1338 S Valentia St, Denver, CO 80247. 720-443-CKBC.
The Truffle Cheese Shop is located at: 2906 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80206. 303-322-7363.