Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hot Knives + The Bruery: Cheese & Beer Pairing at Verdugo Bar

As part of L.A. Beer week, the Hot Knives and the Bruery joined forces to host a cheese and beer pairing at Glassell Park's Verdugo Bar. They held a contest for tickets, and this post was my admission ticket.  (Above Alex Brown of Hot Knives with Patrick Rue of the Bruery.)

The menu was:

Andeerer Traum with brewer's candy
Seven Grains Saison

Brebis Rossiniere and arugula, strawberry, Szechuan peppercorns

Brugge Rodenbach cherry-ciabatta grilled cheese
Oude Tart

Bavarian Limburger "ambient nachos"

Bleu Des Causses stuffed dates with red curry
Gunga Galunga

Highlights included the Andeerer Traum with brewer's candy (pictured below), which meant a malt barley syrup was drizzled over the cheese.  The syrup was sweet, although very different from the maple version you might put on griddle cakes.  The cheese itself has a bold grassy flavor and is a hard cheese.  It is from Southern Switzerland and is the product of a husband and wife cheesemaking enterprise and won 2nd place at the World Cheese Championships earlier this year.

The pairing for this cheese was the Seven Grains Saison, which lives up to its name, with seven different grains  (barley, wheat, rice, oats, corn, rye and spelt (yes, spelt!)) contributing to the ale.

Another especially notable pairing was the Bleu Des Causses stuffed dates with red curry paired with Gunga Gulunga.  The date was stuffed with an assertive French blue cheese made from cow's milk and the combination of the blue cheese and the curry made the stuffed dates an explosive bite.  No shortage of flavor.

To pair was Gunga Galunga, a black beer from the Bruery Provisions series that has been brewed with galanga (blue ginger) according to the Bruery.  The beer is named for a scene in Caddyshack in which Bill Murray's character describes golfing with the Dalia Lama and the Lama's shot goes into a 10,000 ft crevasse, upon which the Lama says "Gunga Galunga."

The event was awesome because of the close collaboration between the Hot Knives and the Bruery, the great space at Verdugo Bar and the fun crowd of cheese and beer enthusiasts.  I know I will be back to Verdugo Bar to explore more of what they have on tap and to enjoy the amazing back patio.  I hope Hot Knives will do another event of some sort before next year's Grilled Cheese Invitational.

The Oude Tart also has to be singled out as it was tart and sour in a way I hadn't experienced quite like that before.  If you like your beer tart or sour, get some of this as it will throw you for a loop.


  1. Hi Savory Hunter!

    I'd love to invite you to an LA Holiday Drinks and Foodie event in LA on 12/2/10. Can you shoot me your email address so I can share the invite?

    I look forward to chatting.

    Norma Leon

  2. If anyone else needs to reach me, my contact information is savoryhunter [at] gmail [dot] com