D.C. wine lovers ... that would be fans of wine who reside in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
Whereas there are wineries in Virginia and Maryland, there are none in the city. (There are, however, some community gardens, which is a story for another day!)
Tuesday evening, I - Territory Manager for Clipper City Brewing Company - and Michael Kiss - cheesemonger at Whole Foods Arlington, VA - hosted a beer and cheese tasting for 70+ members of the Washington Wine and Cheese Society, at their monthly meeting place at Saint Patrick's Episcopal Church in NW Washington, D.C. We had been invited by Tony Guida (pictured), president of the society.
I introduced each Clipper City beer - its story and its flavors - and then introduced the complementary beers. Michael did the same for the the cheeses. We then discussed the pairings, and why we thought they would work.
There were 5 flights. For each flight, participants received 2-3 ounce pourings of each Clipper City beer, and the same pour-size for one of the two complementary beers - similar in style to the Clipper City beer.
To ease logistics, the cheeses were served all at once. For the most part, the participants were patient and played along, waiting for each beer before sampling the paired cheese.
It was a typical Washington D.C. night - hot, humid, and close, and the kitchen refrigerator couldn't handle it. The beers of first 2 flights were served near room temperature.
We iced down the remaining beers.
cheese: La Serena (Sheep's milk)
complementary beers: Troeg's Sunshine Pils, Tuppers' Hop Pocket Pils
Red Sky at Night Saison
complementary beer: La Chouffe
Winter Storm Imperial ESB
cheese: Quickes' English Cheddar
complementary beers: Otter Creek ESB, Flying Fish ESB
Peg Leg Imperial Stout
cheese: Colston Basset Stilton
complementary beers: Lancaster Milk Stout, Victory Storm King
Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale
cheese: Aged Robiola
complementary beers: none !
Loose Cannon was served fresh from a small English-style cask,
called a pin, which contains 5.4 US gallons.
The Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale was special treat, and a surprise for many participants. It was served fresh: not from a keg but from a cask, that is, the beer was living beer, still fermenting in the vessel. And that is as fresh as a beer can be. It was gratifying to have several wine-drinkers approach me afterwards to say that they had never tasted beer of that character. Most beers - if well made to begin with! - will show better when served fresh from casks.
All the cheeses and bread were purchased at the Whole Foods, Arlington. All the beers were purchased - and are available - at the Bethesda Market (301) 229-8068, in the Sumner Place Shopping Center.