Legacy, a blonde ale (4.4%) A delightful local pairing with exquisitely wrinkled St. Jude. Intensely creamy at the moment, Julie Cheyney and her team make St. Jude using milk produced by cows grazing the Waveney pastures at Fen Farm just outside Bungay. It has a mousse-like texture and delicate milky flavour that proved an ideal match for the bright citrus notes in Legacy ale. Hints of grapefruit made for a light and refreshing pairing, full of freshness.
Encore is an amber ale (3.8%) with a bitter edge and zesty flavour. It was a real treat with local brie-style Baron Bigod, cutting through the rich creaminess and mouth-coating texture of this velvety cheese. Baron Bigod is handmade from the raw milk of Montbéliarde cows by Fen Farm Dairy and aged for eight weeks to develop its earthy character and touch of yoghurt at the centre. Encore ale was a beautiful palate cleanser after each nibble of the succulent Baron. Similarly, Encore is a wonderful pairing with thin slices of Spanish Manchego do Diaz. Matching well the sharpness of ewe’s milk and lifting it with zingy notes, would make a perfect pre-dinner aperitif alongside a bowl of plump and tangy Gordal olives.
Our final cheese and beer combo was the ploughman’s classic of Affinity, a golden ale (4.8%) and English Cheddar. Norfolk Dapple is our local cheddar-style cheese made by Ferndale Cheeses in Little Barningham, Norfolk. This clothbound, raw milk cheese is matured for up to eight months to develop its beautiful dappled rind, speckled with the colours of Barn Owl wing feathers. Its gently rounded flavour with a subtle hint of nuttiness at the finish sits well with the hoppy bitterness of Affinity.