The Cheese Mongress

Sophie Taylor, better known as The Cheese Mongress is just about as passionate about cheese as we are about beer. Her love for cheese can only be matched with her love of pairing it. Below is her testomonial on cheese, beer, what goes with what, and what doesn’t.

There is nothing more tasty and refined than the bold & timid notes of a cold beer. However, these nuances can only be enhanced by the dubious art of pairings. With thousands of cheeses and newly emerging beer brews, astounding headway has been made in the pairing department.

As the @CheeseMongress I naturally think of cheese first, and then the accompaniment. The evolution of these nuances doesn’t matter as long as the result is an incorrigible feasting of flavors. One wants to align notes in both beer and cheese. For example, if the beer has nutty dark lager-y notes, one can pair with like-minded cheeses (aged Gouda, nutty runny cheeses, or anything with crunchy sodium crystals. If you have a strong stinky cheese or a blue, pair with timid or spicy ale. The idea is not to get two flavors that combat. One should open the door for the other, and bring out each other’s hidden qualities. Here are some examples.

Chimay Blue with a fresh chevre or goat Brie; this will bring out more caramel-y notes in both.

Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos with a 3-4 year aged Gouda or Beemster Vlaskaas; this will bring out the salty nutty flavors in both.

La Chouffe Golden Ale with either an aged cheddar or blue like Point Reyes or a bold Bayley Hazen.

Old Rasputin with Sheep’s Brie; this will bring out the fresh side of the cheese and deep notes of the beer.

New Belgium Trippel with a washed rind cheese like Taleggio, Winnimere, or Gorgonzola Dolce; these pairings balance each other out with the stinky nutty wash rind and the crisp coriander notes of the Trippel.

Dogfish Head Raison D’etre with 1 year aged Manchego & Quince paste; this combination is savory and sweet bringing out the eccentric raisin notes in the beer and the salty clean taste of the Spanish Manchego.

Stone IPA Indian Pale Ale with Piave Vecchio or Trugole; these two cheeses are sharp and nutty and will compliment the fresh crisp IPA’s character. The Trugole is a semi-soft melt in your mouth cheese, while the Piave Vecchio is aged for a year and closer to Parmigianino.

You may pair any with almonds or walnuts, hot crusty bread, crackers, and don’t forget honey with the blue!

As the @CheeseMongress I have been lucky enough to taste chunk after chunk of delicious cheese. I just launched my once a month tasting box that only serves to further the exploration of cheese. Check out my new tasting box of cheese and pairings delivered monthly to your door at month’s box includes a note sheet with a story about the cheese and each pairing. This sheet will also suggest beer and wine selections and enlighten you with cheese terminology. Club members receive a monthly ration of a half-pound of fromage with three life-size pairings.

Great Beer Deserves Great Food Dinner Recap

It was cold and blowing snow on the evening of February 25, 2012. But inside the Café at Ommegang, Chef Teddy Folkman – assisted by Ommegang Chef Christina Carrasco and the Café staff – put on a warm and welcoming first-time ever beer dinner. All 60 seats were sold out well in advance. For $55 per person our guests had an introductory beer tasting, then six enthusiastically created courses, each paired with a unique beer.

Amuse Bouche: Pork belly over blue cheese, with Buffalo powder. Paired with Duvel Single Ale.

Appetizer: Tomato bisque with crab and black truffle. Paired with Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale.

The amuse bouche was a piece of lovely fried pork belly, resting on a bed of blue cheese, with a dusting of  Buffalo powder  (a hot and spicy take-off on Buffalo wings) made by Chef Teddy. It paired beautifully with Duvel Single Ale. The appetizer was tomato bisque with lump crab and truffles, paired with Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale. The salad was arugula with burratta, fried lemon, and Witte dressing , paired with Duvel Golden Ale.

Salad: Burrata cheese with arugula and fried lemon. Paired with Duvel Golden Ale.

Meat: Short ribs, ricotta polenta, mustard greens. Paired with Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale.

The short ribs with polenta and mustard greens were delectable and paired up with Three Philosophers.  Then the bouillabaisse with mussels, halibut and jumbo shrimp knocked everyone’s socks off and was paired with Ommegang Abbey Ale. The dinner then wrapped with a dessert of French toast with mixed berries and shaved chocolate, paired with Ommegang Seduction Chocolate-Cherry Porter.

Fish: Bouillabaisse with mussels, halibut and jumbo shrimp. Paired with Ommegang Abbey Ale.

Dessert: French toast with mixed berries and chocolate shavings. Paired with Seduction Stout.

The dinner started at 7:00 with a greeting from Ommegang brewmaster Phil Leinhart and Chef Teddy, and concluded at 10 pm. Each course was preceded by brief remarks on the beer, the food and the pairing inspiration.  Everyone went away happy, satiated with great food, enlivened by great beer, and left with a heightened sense of engagement with beer and food.

Join us on March 24 for our second Great Beer Deserves Great Food series dinner featuring Chef Ty-Lör Boring of Brooklyn, NY, who is currently competing for Top Chef of Texas.

Ty-Lör most recently worked Black Ops for locavore Almond Restaurants in New York.  Born in Kansas City and trained in classic French and Asian cuisine, his style as a chef centers around the fusion of ingredients from the far east with seasonal farm to table emphasis. Ty-Lör is a master at creating simple, stunning dishes with a raw and sensual edge. He has traveled the world over learning different types of cuisines and melding those tastes in his own way.

Chef Ty-Lör will prepare a multi-course menu paired with Ommegang and Duvel beers,  introducing each of the pairings and give us his insight into his pairings techniques.

Tickets go on sale March 1.

Call 607-286-4090 for more info and to purchase tickets.

Check back soon for a preview of the menu.

Erv’s Mug Beer Dinner

Come to Erv’s Mug in Oak Creek, WI for a brilliant variety of delectable food paired with beer from Brewery Ommegang, Duvel, Maredsous, and Brasserie d’Achouffe.

Beginning with a first course featuring an Artisan Cheese Board and Home Roasted Almonds with grilled, seasoned French bread, paired with Maredsous 8 Brune. This malty, aromatic brew will quickly become one of your favorites.

Next you’ll move on to a Classic Caesar on Chopped Romaine salad with home made croutons. Paired flawlessly with Duvel Single, a light-bodied beer which provides a flavorful, refreshing and hugely enjoyable experience.

For the main course you’ll experience a very unique Chipotle Cocoa Rubbed Flat Iron Steak and Whiskey Bacon Gravy with Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes paired with a Houblon Chouffe ; this unique balance between a very strong IPA and  very special Belgian Tripel makes for a beautiful, spicy brew.

For desert you’ll indulge in a Roasted Pineapple with Saison Gelee’ and Pretzel Streusel served A la’ Mode with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  Served with Ommegang Hennepin. This hoppy, farmhouse style ale has a great aroma, medium body, and clean dry finish. You’ll love the majestic golden hue of the beer next to the vibrant colors of your dessert plate.


Make your reservations today by calling (414) 762-5010. Dinner is $30 and being held on March 6th, 2012 from 5-8 pm, 130 West Ryan Road  Oak Creek, WI 53154.

Great Beer Deserves Great Food dinner at Cafe Ommegang

Saturday, Feb 25th at 7:00pm
Cafe Ommegang
656 County Hwy 33,
Cooperstown, NY 13326 

Great Beer Deserves Great Food is Brewery Ommegang’s ongoing food and beer pairing initiative. Each year we do dozens of culinary events like this all around the US. This year we’re hosting a series in our own cafe with well-known chefs from around the country.

For the dinner, Chef Teddy Folkman will cook six delectable courses – each prepared and paired with fine Belgian ales.

Amuse Bouche
paired with Duvel Single Golden Ale.

Tomato Bisque with Crab and Black Truffle
paired with Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale

Burrata with Arugula and fried lemon
paired with Duvel Golden Ale

Short Ribs, Ricotta Polenta and Mustard Greens
paired with Three Philosophers Quadruple Ale.

Bouillabaisse with Mussles, Halibut, and Jumbo Shrimp
paired with Ommegang Abbey Ale

Mixed Berry “French Toast” with Shaved Chocolate
paired with Ommegang Seduction Ale.

Chef Teddy has spent the past decade pursuing his passion for the culinary arts in DC’s best restaurants, honing and expanding his craft.

In 2007, Teddy nailed his place in the DC restaurant scene as Executive Chef and owner of Granville Moore’s Gastropub on H Street, NE.

Granville Moore’s has since received top honors and accolades for its food, beer and ambiance. Teddy also won a Moules battle on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” and competed on “The Next Food Network Star.”

Craft beer is chef Teddy’s other food passion – as the National Culinary Ambassador for Brewery Ommegang, he travels the country hosting cooking competitions, beer dinners, and speaking about about food and beer.

Ticket are $55 with $5 being donated to Otsego 2000 and can be purchased at the Brewery Ommegang store (656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown, NY) or by calling 607-286-4090.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Meridian Pint

Valentine’s Day Prix-Fixe at Meridian Pint
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 5pm-10pm
3400 11th Street Washington DC, 20010
Reservations e-mail:

Getting bored with flowers, over-sized stuffed bears and boxes of heart-shaped chocolates? Don’t let yourself fall victim to the humdrum of a typical Valentine’s Day. Come to Meridian Pint where they’ll be serving three courses, all served with Ommegang Beers, now that’s something to fall in love with. Instead of going to your usual date spot to get your usual meal with your usual wine, try something different: 9 delectable pairings of spirited beer and savory food.

The night will begin with an out-of-this world appetizer of Roasted Tomato Soup with Mussels and a delightfully refreshing BPA, followed by a Blood Orange, Roasted Beef, and Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds, with Ommegang Witte. Next, let your taste buds explode with the brilliant flavors of Ommegang Gnomegang, Grilled White and Green Asparagus, a House-Cured Duck Prosciutto and Quince Puree. And that folks, is only the first course.

The second course will begin with an tantalizing Poached Rockfish with Baby-Artichoke Saffron Nage, served with a delightful Rare Vos. Next you’ll experience the robust taste of the Carpetbag Steak Roast Filet stuffed with Oysters, a side of Fingerling Potates, Morels, and a wonderful Abbey Ale. Once you’ve completed that explosion of taste, get ready for the aftershock. A Black Bean Terrine with Roasted Pepper and Corn Relish, Watercress and Avocado Coulis, all the while sipping on Ommegang Seduction.

A Valentine’s Day without sweets would be like a day without water, so this is when the much-anticipated 3rd Course makes it’s entrance. We begin with a Triple Meyer Lemon Chiffon Cake with Pistachios, served with a darkly delicious Ommegang Adoration. Then a Chocolate Strawberry Truffle with Ommegang Aphrodite, and cap off the feast with Mango Sticky Rice with Dried Cherry Coulis and a personal favorite of many, Ommegang Three Philosophers.

Why not turn Valentine’s Day into something more than greeting cards, melted candy and overpriced bouquets of already-dying roses? Everyone involved gets great food and an awesome atmosphere, and you get 9 different types of beer scattered perfectly throughout the evening. Make your date happy, but more importantly yourself, by celebrating an average holiday in a way above average way; all the while showing your support for the Great Beer Deserves Great Food movement.