When local businesses join forces to create new and exciting products, the results are usually well-received.
Sid Wainer & Son and Buzzard’s Bay Brewing recently collaborated to create a beer-based cheese that certainly had locals buzzing.
The Jansal Valley Buzzards Bay Session Cheddar debuted at the “Taste and Toast” event on June 17 at Buzzard’s Bay Brewing, located in Westport. Drawing in almost 200 people, the event was complete with live entertainment, a grilled cheese truck, and a Cuttyhunk Oyster stand.
The FanCheezical food truck created a Bacon and Pickle Beer Cheese Sandwich.
“Let’s just say it was kind of amazing” said Sid Wainer & Son Cheese Category Manager Tyler Tripp.
Tripp teamed up with Bill Russell from Buzzard’s Bay Brewing to create the ideal beer/cheese pairing. Using the Buzzard’s Bay IPA seemed like the ideal beer to compliment a New England Cheddar, for the brewery was one of the first to locally produce IPA.
Tripp and Russell wanted to do an IPA cheddar for its “aromatic quality” and felt the two would make a very natural pairing. The IPA was described by Tripp as “a quintessential New England IPA with a hoppy backbone and malty notes of barley.”
The final cheese product seems to have been a success for all those involved in its creation.
“We have achieved a remarkably balanced cheese” said Tripp. “The texture is smooth, but has developed the character of an aged English cheddar. The nose is floral and hoppy, but the milk is sweet, with the brightness you might desire in a sharp cheddar.”
Being a morning person is vital for those who want to be a cheesemaker. The process begins with a 4 a.m. call time of milking the cows. The milk is pasteurized, has cultures added to it, and warmed to its ideal temperature.
After a vegetarian-friendly rennet is added and the milk is warmed once again, it begins to coagulate.
Once the cheese is cut, milled and salted, two kegs worth of beer is sprayed on the cheese.
This process is known as “washing the curd,” giving the cheese its smooth surface and soaking in the beer flavor.
The cheese is wrapped in beer-soaked plastic and won’t be opened for another six months.
The first time the cheese was produced, the 800lb batch sold out in less than a month’s time, proving how exciting the beer cheese concept is.
Henry Wainer, who is a promoter for locally based businesses and locally grown foods, came up with the idea to create the cheese.
The best part about staying local is it helps keep small businesses booming and creates unique food products that will eventually become SouthCoast staples, those involved say.
The cheese is available at the Sid Wainer outlet in New Bedford, and will be coming to other stores soon.
It is currently the only Sid Wainer/Buzzards Bay product, but hopefully there are more cheese goods to come.
As Bill Russell put it: “cheese is what makes the world go around.”