As a huge Tillamook Cheese fan, and a huge beer fan, what better way to spend an evening than with a Tillamook Cheese and beer pairing night? I picked five Tillamook cheeses and paired them with beers I thought would compliment them the best. The theme of the evening was ‘Oregon Cheese Meets California Craft Beer’. It was fun to create the pairings!
Beer: Boont Amber Ale, Anderson Valley Brewery, Boonville, CA
Cheese: Tillamook Pepper Jack
I stumbled upon Anderson Valley Brewery on a drive from Sonoma to Mendocino. It’s tucked away in the valley overpass where you’d least expect it. Also unexpected was the frisbee golf course on the brewery grounds. Boont Amber Ale is their flagship beer with deep copper color offset by an off-white head. Paired with the spicy Pepper Jack Cheese, you might need a few sips to offset the fire in your mouth.
Beer: Golden Road Hefeweizen, Golden Road Brewery, Los Angeles, CA
Cheese: Tillamook Garlic White Cheddar
Golden Road Brewery is a new brewery that just opened up recently in LA. They brew five beers onsite, one of which is the Golden Road Hefeweizen—a wheat beer with a smooth finish. The brewery serves this beer in a cool growler! Paired with the Garlic Cheddar you might experience a savory (garlic) and sweet (hefeweizen) contrast.
Beer: Old No. 38 Stout, North Coast Brewing, Fort Bragg, CA
Old No. 38 stout is a smooth, firm-bodied stout with toasted character and coffee notes of dark malts and roasted barley. Don’t let the dark color intimidate you—this is a terrifically smooth, drinkable beer. Pair with the Vintage White Cheddar for a “yin and yang” or “black and white cookie-like” contrast.
Beer: Arrogant Bastard, Stone Brewery, Escondido, CA
Cheese: Tillamook Smoked Medium Cheddar
This strong ale from northern San Diego is known for its hoppy flavor and bitter finish. It’s the strongest of the five beers in this pairing at 7.2% ABV. Don’t drink too much or you’ll feel it later. Paired with the Smoked Cheddar this pairing is go big or go home.
Beer: Organic Acai Berry Wheat, Eel River Brewery, Humboldt, CA
Cheese: Tillamook Medium Cheddar
Acai beer?!? Yeah, pretty crazy. Eel River is America’s first certified organic brewery and the Acai Berry Wheat is a light-bodied wheat ale brewed with organic acai berries, which boasts high antioxident properties, so it’s good for you! Paired with the classic Medium Cheddar it’s like fruit and cheese in your mouth.
What are your favorite beer and cheese pairings?
~ Scott of the Tillamook Team