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Beer and Cheese Pairing Class at the "Brewniversity" of Central Market

Beer and Cheese Pairing Class at the "Brewniversity" of Central Market
Photo by Joanna O'Leary

Attending a class at the Central Market Cooking School has been on my "To Do" list since I moved to Texas. Seven years later, I finally made good on this promise by attending a beer and cheese pairing class, one of a series of events comprising Central Market's "Brewniversity" festival. I won't say, however, that I crossed this item off the list completely, because I so enjoyed the class that I can't imagine not attending another one in the near future.

Readers of this blog know that cocktails are more my spirits beat. Despite being married to a homebrewer, I know little about beer, and my palate for them is fairly unsophisticated. "This is too hoppy," is probably the most nuanced critique I've uttered about a beer.

Lately, however, I've started to enjoy beer more and even notice small differences between various IPAs, stouts, and lagers, so I welcomed the opportunity for a little more education. And since fromage and I are already very intimately acquainted, a beer and cheese class sounded perfect.

Ommegang Abbey Ale with Spring Brook Farm Tarentaise
Ommegang Abbey Ale with Spring Brook Farm Tarentaise
Photo by Joanna O'Leary

Leading the class was Janet Fletcher, who recently authored a book titled - you guessed it - Cheese & Beer. She provided historical information and tasting notes for each of the five pairings and encouraged participants to contribute their comments and observations. Beginning with a summery Saint Arnold's Fancy Lawnmower kölsch and a light mozzarella, we moved on to increasingly darker, more complex beers and stronger cheeses, culminating in a final pairing of oatmeal stout with a blue cheese from a creamery in Point Reyes, California. Fletcher also encouraged us to investigate cross-pairings, which is how I found my personal favorite duo: Ommegang Abbey Ale and butter & cheese cremont.

All the featured beers and cheeses are available for sale at Central Market , so I can easily recreate the five-course menu in the comfort of my own home. But a lot of the fun of the class was interacting with and learning from my fellow participants, many of whom, I discovered, make their own cheese and/or beer.

The next step for me is to attend a Central Market class in which I actually cook, since, God knows, I could use help in that area.

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Central Market

3815 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77027

713-386-1700

www.centralmarket.com


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