Cheese and Wine, er I Mean Beer!

As Savvy Company of Ottawa expands their offerings beyond wine (to cheese and craft beer), they really are becoming a full-fledged info-tainment provider. I call them “info-tainment” because you never leave a Savvy event without having learned something new (and usually many things). I cannot eat cheese anymore without recalling one of  Vanessa’s strict rules about cheese service (Vanessa is the Savvy Company “Cheese Sommelier”).

Vanessa – Savvy Company’s Cheese Sommelier

So when I had the opportunity to attend Savvy Company’s first ever cheese and beer event (#cheeseandbeer on twitter) during Ontario Craft Beer week, it was something I had to make room for.

Kichesippi Beer

Held within the Kichesippi Beer facility in the west end of Ottawa, the event brought together 4 local craft brewers – Ashton Brewing Company, Big Rig, Clocktower Pub, and Kichesippi Beer Company (of course) on a steamy summer night. Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons provided the cheese and gave some inspiration in terms of which cheeses she though matched well with which beer.

A complete photo album (all the photos I took as well as several taken by other foodies, etc.) is available on the Savvy Facebook page.

Highlights of the night for Deb and I included the following:

Paul Meek Pours Heller Highwater

Kichesippi Heller High Water:  Paul Meek poured this starter beer for attendees to welcome us into the brewing area.  A refreshing Bavarian lager, this was great for quenching the thirst that a hot Ottawa summer evening can bring. As we found the cheese, we realized that this went really well with the Bleu D’Elizabeth.

Big Rig Team Chats Up Their Beer

Big Rig Hefeweizen: This German wheat beer reminded me a little of the well-known Belgium Hoegaarden. A great summer sipper with super refreshing citrus notes to the beer. We tried this one with all the cheeses and liked it with several of them, but agreed with Vanessa’s matchup of Back Forty’s Bonnechere. 

Debbie & Vanessa – Keeping Up With Cheese Demand

Ashton Brewing Company

Ashton Brewing Company Blueberry Wheat Beer: Even though the nose was quite strong with the fruit, the blueberry notes on the palate were very subdued, unlike other fruit-infused beers I have tasted.  Vanessa explained fruity or nutty beers pair well with the Avonlea Clothbound cheddar, which has earthy characteristics. We liked this combo a lot.

Clocktower Team Readies for the Onslaught!

Clocktower’s Kölsch German Style Beer: A beauty of a blonde beer that is quite light and refreshing, with subtle hops that keep it crisp. This paired beautifully with the Goat Gouda from Clarmell Farms.

Line-up for Cheese!

There were 9 beers in total to sample, and 6 different cheeses. The positive and negative effects of pairing these beers and cheeses was really neat to observe.

Sold Out Event!

Various Cheeses – All Yummy!

So what did I learn? I learned a lot more about the great craft beers that are being produced right here in the city. I learned what kinds of beers to pair with which types of cheese. And most importantly, I learned that #Cheeseandbeer is a great pairing!

Yes! Craft Brewed Here in Ottawa

Check Out Other Savvy Events

Watch for upcoming Savvy beer, wine, & cheese events here, and be sure to take one in. They are great fun, and you will definitely learn something new…

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