Aged cheese & wild ale.

For two decades, the Tate family has been making delicious cheeses at Goat Lady Dairy in the rolling hills of central North Carolina.  We’ve been in love with their Smoky Mountain Round goat cheese for a long time; but now we find ourselves compelled by Providence… an aged goat milk cheese.  The Tates call Providence a: “A happy accident, evolving out of experimental batches of a Tallegio style cheese Goat Lady Dairy made years ago.”  Let me try to describe Providence as I try not to drop bits of it on my keyboard…  It has a wonderful aroma and a rich, creamy texture, and the slightly earthy/tangy flavor is fantastic!

It didn’t take me long to come up with the perfect pairing for this aged goat milk cheese; a barrel aged wild ale (a beer fermented with wild yeast and/or bacteria to develop a sour beer with varying degrees of tartness) from Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, NC. Wicked Weed, another family owned business, is located about three hours west of Goat Lady Dairy in the NC mountains. Wicked Weed produces award-winning west coast style hoppy ales, open fermented Belgian beers and barrel aged sours.  They’re known for pushing the boundaries of ingredients and recipes; ending up with fantastic and funky results.

Amorous is a golden sour beer aged in red wine barrels for approximately 8-10 months, and then generously dry hopped (meaning a large quantity of hops was added, typically during fermentation, to give Amorous it’s great hop aroma).

Photo courtesy of Wicked Weed Brewing

While I love both Amorous and Providence separately, they create a beautiful harmony of flavors together.  Amorous is crisp, slightly tart & funky with a noticeable, pleasant hop aroma and flavor.  When paired with Providence, the true to style funkiness of the beer complements the earthiness and aged quality of the cheese.  The effervescence and bright acidity of the beer balances out the richness of the cheese.

Providence is available by the 1/4 lb at Sugar Island Bakery right now, but only for a limited time!

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