Say Cheese! PLATES & PINTS
Pure Project teams with local cheese monger and Vermont creamery on fromage collaboration Three-years-young Pure Project Brewing has a lot going on. In addition to frequent can releases and expansion at its Miramar Brewery Igniter facility, its green team is working to open satellite tasting rooms in Bankers Hill and Carlsbad. Even with all those irons in the fire, they stoked that blaze with a new poker last month, releasing a first-of-its-kind collaboration for the constantly colluding interest, a beerinfused cow’s milk cheese. The origins of this collab trace to San Francisco’s Fancy Food Show. While attending the event, Robert Graff, cheese monger and “professor of cheese” for San Diego’s Venissimo Cheese, ran into Leigh Harding, the national accounts manager for Vermont’s famed Jasper Hill Creamery. Graff invited Harding and her colleagues to come to San Diego for a cheese expo, which took place in May, that included a beer pairing component. Aware of Jasper Hill’s stellar reputation, and wanting to make sure they were teamed with a top-notch beer partner, Graff asked an associate at local bottle shop Bottlecraft for a recommendation on an “exciting brewery.” Pure Project was his answer.
After some quick introductions, creatives from Pure Project and Jasper Hill got to work deciding the best way to bring their individual expertise and offerings together. In the end, the
of cheese is to wash it in a liquid during aging,” explains Graff. “It can be anything from brine to wine, whey or spirits. For this one, we did beer. We weren’t the first to think of this, but it was fun to put a San Diego twist on the concept.”
During conceptual discussions, the collaborators determined they wanted to use a fruited sour beer. Head brewer Winslow Sawyer and his crew landed on Everything Gold May Stay, an exotic take on a Flanders-style sour ale. Typically red or brown in color, this version is “golden,” made from Pilsner malt, unmalted wheat and oats, and fermented with mixed culture blends from Pure Project as well as collaborating Watsonville, California startup Fruition Brewing. Aging in oak barrels with three types of raspberries (red, gold and double gold) gives it a lovely magenta color.
brewery tapped a one-off creation, while the cheesemakers leaned on one of their staples, Willoughby, a buttery cheese made from milk derived from two farmers located within 15 miles of the creamery. “Willoughby is a washed-rind cheese, meaning part of the process of this style
“I loved the beer. It was very tart and effervescent, which I imagined would be a nice complement to a rich, gooey, savory cheese like Willoughby,” says Zoe Brickley, director of development, sales and marketing for Jasper Farm. “Barrel-aged notes often find interesting aromatic affinity with the buttery, creamy aromas in cheese. When young, Willoughby tastes of sweet cream and apricots with a yeasty, floral aroma.