Local beer and cheese pairings

NS Craft Beer Week

The artisanal cheese and beer movement is in full force in Nova Scotia. The charcuterie board, which would have once been loaded with processed salami and bland international cheese selections can now be made completely from local ingredients. Nova Scotia has a small but remarkably diverse cheese industry, much like our own craft brewing industry. There is a wide range of styles made, each of which goes well with at least one, or more, of the many local craft beers available in the province. Here are a few pairings that would make your cheese board a celebration of local.

1.Garrison Irish Red Ale and That Dutchman’s Old Growler (garlic and herb flavoured Gouda)

This red ale embraces the herb (especially chive) character of this cheese, while the cheese brings out the nuttier elements of the beer’s malt character.  About Garrison Brewing: Garrison Brewing, along with Propeller Brewery, ushered in a new era of craft brewing in Nova Scotia, when they launched in 1997. Close to 20 years later, they continue to be one of the province’s most inventive breweries, consistently offering more than 30 styles of beer, each year. 

About Garrison Brewing: Garrison Brewing, along with Propeller Brewery, ushered in a new era of craft brewing in Nova Scotia, when they launched in 1997. Close to 20 years later, they continue to be one of the province’s most inventive breweries, consistently offering more than 30 styles of beer, each year. 

About That Dutchman: The Economy (near Truro) based That Dutchman’s Farm is owned and operated by Maja and Willem van den Hoek. Over the past 40 years, the Dutch-born cheese purveyors have established themselves as Canada’s preeminent Gouda producers and boast a countrywide cult-like following for their Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese. 

2. Boxing Rock Next Chapter Rye India Pale Ale (IPA) and Certified Organic Knoydart Farm Old Double Gloucester

We’ve created a flavour bridge between this fantastic beer crafted in Shelburne, on the South Shore, and this sharp and tangy cheese made on a farm that straddles the Antigonish and Pictou County lines. Together, they complement each other with Boxing Rock’s caramel malt and spicy rye notes melding with the dense texture of the cheese.

About Boxing Rock: In the highly technical world of brewing, many of the best brewers are engineers. In the case of Shelburne’s Boxing Rock, both owners have engineer backgrounds. Emily Tipton and Henry Pedro have quickly established Boxing Rock as one of the province’s largest and most dynamic microbreweries proving big things can happen in small places.

About Knoydart: Knoydart is a certified organic dairy farm near Arisaig, overlooking the Northumberland Strait. The farm specializes in cheddar-style cheeses.

3. Propeller London Style Porter and Blue Harbour Urban Blue

This bold full-flavoured brew offers loads of roasted malt flavours. A big brew calls for a cheese with big flavour. Blue Harbour, a tiny cheese making facility in Halifax’s North End, produces Urban Blue, a Gorgonzola style blue cheese that is creamier and less piquant compared to many cheeses made in this style.

About Blue Harbour: Blue Harbour is Halifax’s micro cheese maker. The artisanal cheese house which occupies the basement of a modest building in the city’s North End is owned and operated by Lyndell Findlay, a retired UN Refugee Agency worker, whose love of cheese and a desire to return to Halifax all added up to the right ingredients to open an urban cheese making facility. 

About Propeller Brewery: In 1997, former movie set prop master, John Allen, transformed an old building on Gottingen Street, long before having a North End address was popular. The demands of satiating the demands of a local populous keen to support craft brewing has meant the company has expanded, opening a second brewing location in Dartmouth, but this venerable micro will forever be known to many as Nova Scotia’s original urban microbrewery.

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