Sour Beer & Wine Dinner Featuring Schell’s Noble Star Beers

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” alt=”” width=”307″ height=”164″ /> Jace Marti – Photo from The Growler Magazine

What: A Sour Beer/Boutique Wine/Small Plates Dinner with special guest, order Jace Marti, treatment of Schell’s Brewery
When: Thursday, October 1, 2015
Where: Salt Cellar Restaurant, 173 Western Ave N, St Paul, Minnesota
Arrive by: 6:15pm – Seated Small Plate Pairings start at 6:30pm
Cost: $80 (includes tax and gratuity). Price includes 11 libations, 5 small plates, 1 passed hors-d’oeuvre, and a panel of entertaining hosts

For the last few years, one of Minnesota’s most traditional breweries has also been one of its most innovative. And they are doing it by reviving a traditional, historic style – Berliner Weisse – using cypress-wood tanks that were purchased by that brewery in 1936.

The Noble Star Series of wood-aged Berliner weisse beers from August Schell Brewing Company have been some of the most interesting beers to come out of the Minnesota beer scene. Sixth-generation brewer Jace Marti has served up seven, Berliner-inspired, tart treats in the series, with more on the way.

It is said that Napoleon’s invading armies called Berliner weisse the “champagne of the north.” Many have compared wild-fermented and sour beers to fine wine. Believe me, wine drinkers love them. So what could be more natural than bringing wine and sour beer together in one extravagant meal?

Salt Cellar in St. Paul is thrilled to announce its first Beer/Wine dinner featuring five of the Noble Star beers (maybe one that hasn’t yet been released). Jace Marti will be on hand to talk about his beers and the new Star Keller, wood-aging facility that recently went into production.

We’re talking five courses, people! Salt Cellar Executive Chef Alan Bergo has paired each beer to a hand-crafted, small-plate dish. I’ll be on hand to help talk to those parings. And it’s not just beer. My favorite sommelier Leslee Miller is bringing wine to the table as well. That’s two beverages for each course! What? That’s crazy talk.

It might be crazy, but doesn’t it sound delicious? You know you want to be there.

Seating is limited and reservations are required by September 25th. You can make them by calling Salt Cellar’s General Manager, Blake Watson at 651-219-4012.

Hop Aged Cheese. Do Try This At Home.

hop-aged-cheese2Affinage is a French term that describes the aging and maturing of cheese. During this period of ripening, cheese develops its final set of flavors and textures. Each cheese has its own set of requirements. Temperature, humidity, and treatments such as washing, brushing, or turning all come into play.

In a workshop at the recent Midwest Craft Brewers Conference held at the University of Wisconsin Stout, beer and food writer Lucy Saunders introduced an extension of the affinage concept that hooked me at first bite – aging cheese on hops. She fed us pieces of goat cheese and butter that both had a delightfully bright citrus and floral aroma and flavor, which really stood out from the untreated sample. Saunders used dry hops for her demonstration, but this being hops harvest season it seemed a good time to try it at home with fresh.

I have two bushy bines of Cascade hops intertwining on top of the pergola in my back yard. They are prolific cone producers, but as I haven’t brewed beer at home in over three years they are mostly ornamental. They look pretty through the summer and then dry on the bine to provide some winter interest in my perennial garden. Armed with this new idea though, I decided to put some of them to use.

The process is simple. Line the bottom of a container with hops. I used plastic, food-storage containers. Using fresh hops I got the best results by tearing and rubbing the cones to crush the lupulin glands for better release of the aromatics. I surmise that you might want to do the same using dried cones. Once the hops are in, cover them with parchment paper. Cap that with the cheese, seal it up, and pop it in the refrigerator. Saunders recommended leaving it for no more than five to seven hours, but I achieved good results leaving it over night before removing the hops.

I have tried this technique with butter, chèvre, and sharp cheddar. All three were delicious. Lighter flavors work better, as the hop aromatics, though obvious, are easily overwhelmed. Chèvre worked the best. The flavor is light and the lactic acid tang of the cheese melds nicely with the citrusy side of the hops. It’s great spread on crackers and crusty bread, but I also enjoy it on sliced, fresh tomatoes. The butter brightens a batch of popcorn with a subtle hoppy zing and is also tasty spread onto a chunk of crusty bread. The cheddar is good eaten all by itself. Its stronger flavor yields a subtler, but still noticeable effect. It’s reminiscent of pairing the cheese with a refreshing American pale ale.

Hop aging cheese is easy to do and so tasty. There is no good reason not to do this. Maybe next time I’ll try some non-American hop varieties.

What other goodies could I infuse with the zesty aromas of hops? Hmmmmm….

step-1

Step 1: Line the container with torn-up hop cones.

Step 2: Cover hops with parchment paper.

Step 2: Cover hops with parchment paper.

Step 3: Put in the cheese, seal, and refrigerate.

Step 3: Put in the cheese, seal, and refrigerate.