This week, our pairing highlights a cheese world comeback story that we couldn’t be happier about. Consider Bardwell Farm’s Pawlet is named after their hometown in West Pawlet, Vermont. About 18 months ago, while conducting some routine testing, they discovered listeria in one specific washed-rind cheese and decided to recall all of their distributed cheeses before any ever made it into consumers’ hands. After working closely with the USDA and Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture for the past year and a half, Consider Bardwell is back from the brink of foreclosure & producing some of our favorite cheeses. With the farm focused on distributing solely in New England & production starting at a quarter of what it once was, we are lucky to be able to keep Pawlet in stock again! Pawlet is a raw, cow’s milk Italian style Toma with classic sweet and grassy notes. Pawlet brings it’s distinctly herbaceous profile to all it touches and is supremely suited to both snacking & melting making it perfect for unpredictable Nantucket fall weather! Obviously, a grilled cheese is the classic go-to, but try this cheese on a burger if you really want to kick it up a notch.
With this delightful little slice of Vermont heaven, we’re actually tossing a beer into the mix. Jester King is a self-proclaimed brewery, kitchen, farm & event hall focused on brewing farmhouse and barrel-aged wild ales on the edge of Austin, Texas. They use Texas grown ingredients and try to tie their brews to time, place, & people. Their Bier de Miel is no exception & is our pick for Pawlet this week. This unspiced farmhouse ale is fermented and bottle conditioned with raw Texas wildflower honey. It’s dry and citrusy upfront, retaining that distinct honey flavor minus any cloying sweetness. Instead, the nuance from the honey is layered delightfully throughout the palate and the native yeasts and bacteria maintain the sense of place the Jester King is so devoted to. The lightly bitter lemon tones to this brew will dance with the upfront sweetness of Pawlet, while the warmth of the honey plays off the cheese’s barnyard-y aromas. Honey & cheese is simply a match made in heaven and wrapping all the joy up in a delicious bottle conditioned beer is just icing on the cake. This pair is ideal for hunkering down, or soaking up the crisp autumn air – share with your nearest & dearest!