Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Beer and Cheese Pairings at the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco

By William Brand
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 at 2:05 pm in Uncategorized.

Photo: Rick Mitchell, of Luka’s, Oakland, pours North Coast Le Merle at the Commonwealth Club Belgian-style beer and cheese pairing in San Francisco.

In my weekly column today, I wrote about the Commonwealth Club Beer and Cheese Tasting in San Francisco last week. Great event. All the beer and all the cheeses are available in the San Francisco Bay Area at good cheese stores and beer stores with excellent beer stocks.

Here are the pairings:

Cheese pairings by Sheana Davis, The Epicurean Connection

Delice de la Vallee, a fresh blend of cow and goat milk cheese, to be released September 2008.
Carmody, a raw Jersey cow milk cheese made by Bellwether Farms
Italian Table Cheese, a raw holstein cow milk cheese, made by Charley Malkassian


Rodenback Flemish Sour Ale, donated by La Trappe
Paired with Delice de la Vallee

North Coast Le Merle Saison
Paired with Delice de la Vallee

Duvel Belgian Golden Ale
Paired with Delice de la Vallee

St. Bernardus Triple, donated by The Trappist
Paired with Vella Italian Table Cheese

Prior 8 Wit
Paired with Vella Italian Table Cheese

Ommegang Three Philosophers
Paired with Carmody

Affligem Blonde Abbey Ale
Paired with Carmody

Golden Currants, Sweet Baguette, Cracked Whole Wheat Baguette, Almonds, Pistachios & Apricots

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  • Jeff

    Actually, nothing was paired with the cheeses. The beers were on different tables, and the cheeses were all on one table with no matches to the beers. And the line for the cheese table was ridiculous.

    At the end, I saw there was some kind of sign at the end of the cheese line with pairing information, but it wasn’t very visible and I doubt anyone knew it was there.

    Overall, some good beers, but a poorly organized event.

    San Francisco, CA

  • William Brand

    Yeah, I know. I went to the cheese table first, grabbed some cheese then walked over to the Three Philosophers table and then the Rodenbach keg. It was awkward, but it worked. When I went back to get more cheese, I couldn’t get through the crowd at first, You’re right about disorganization.

  • Mario (Brewed For Thought)

    William, I like your thinking. I think my review would have been “I spent the evening drinking Three Philosophers, oh and some people on the other end of the room were eating cheese.”

    Last time I did a cheese pairing at home it ended up splitting into people who were there to eat cheese, and people who were there to drink beer. Very interesting.

  • William Brand

    Yeah, Jeff had a good point. The function could have been better organized. But it’s difficult in a setting like that. What happened was the cheese table got totally mobbed. While there were a half dozen tables pouring beer, there was only one long cheese table and just Sheana Davis and one volunteer serving cheese.

    When I do a beer adn cheese tasting, I serve each beer with the cheese that someone or other, very often I ask Sheana or Lucy Saunders (cookbook author) to e-mail me suggested pairings. Often cheese and beer can pair incredibly well.

  • Mario (Brewed For Thought)

    I found this link useful for planning pairings. The “cheese lady” at Pacific Market basically found the cheese for me when I picked out which I wanted

  • William Brand

    Gpod link, Mario.

  • Sheana Davis

    A year later, I agree this was not a pairing…so many people, no servers, etc.
    Most of all enjoy beer and cheese and remember Bill for all he wrote!