Beer and Cheese naturally work well together, why have I never thought to host a beer and cheese pairing party?

After attending a Beer and Cheese Pairing hosted by Fred Meyer to showcase their new in store offerings I am absolutely inspired to host one, who wants to come?

Fred Meyer recently added new Growler Stations in several of their Anchorage stores, specifically the Northern Lights location and the Eagle River store. You can bring in your own growler bottle or buy one in the store and fill it with a varied selection of beers on tap. The beer choices vary as new brews are released so you can always find something new to try. When we were there the choices were varied and several were local brews too, which is always nice.

The other new addition to their Northern Lights store, the Dimond store and the Abbot loop store are Murray’s Cheese Shops. Murray’s Cheese is a 74 year old cheese shop in Greenwich Village that has expanded to offer their cheese in several Krogers(Fred Meyer in Alaska) store starting in about 2012. The aim of including Murray’s Cheese shops inside Krogers is to bring the experience of buying great cheese in a mom and pop format to grocery stores and make it available to everyone. Each member of the Kroger based Murray’s Cheese shops must travel to New York and train in the original cheese shop so they really do know cheese. And if you’re in Alaska and you want to see this in action go look up Hannah at the Northern Lights store, she really, REALLY knows cheese. Another plus to the Murray’s Cheese Shop buying experience is the “you can sample any of our cheeses, to make sure it’s right for you” So not only is the staff knowledgeable about which cheeses melt best or stand up to tangy pickled cherries but they can make sure you know what it tastes like before you buy.

Here’s a snap of the cheeses we tasted

 

and the pairing descriptions, the Port Salut is in roughly the number 12 position on the plate above.

 

 

I think my favorite was #3 Tartentaise with Iron Horse IPA, although the Welsh Cheddar with Elysian Dragonstooth Stout was a close second. And the surprise pairing for me was the Aged Manchego with Smoked Porter, I don’t like smoked porter as a rule, the cheese tamed the usually cloying smokiness and made it a pleasant addition not an overwhelming flavor.

And a couple of awesome goodie bags to take home too.

 

My husband and I attended the event as a guest of Fred Meyer, the ideas, thoughts and comments are all mine.