Goose Island Beer and Cheese Pair Up in the Saveur Test Kitchen

Chef Mona Talbott and cheesemonger Kate Arding take over the SAVEUR Test Kitchen to prepare dishes and cheese platters that pair with Goose Island beer.

goose island talbott arding
Goose Island kicks off beer hour with this Halia, a semi-sour beer.Matt Taylor-Gross

Cheese and wine go together. That's a given fact. But what most haven't had the thought to try is pairing cheeses with beer. It may sound blasphemous at first read, but well-brewed ales are just as poised as vintage bottles to bring out the best in blues and bries. Goose Island, along with Chef Mona Talbott and cheesemonger Kate Arding (of Hudson, New York's Talbott and Arding) prepared a full-course dinner to give us, and 29 guests, the privilege to experience a beer and cheese tasting.

Stacy Adimando
SAVEUR executive editor Stacy Adimando gracefully eats a fried cheese cured prepared by Talbot & Arding.Matt Taylor-Gross

The night started with three appetizers prepared by the chef: some cheesemonger's focaccia mini-sandwiches with house-made head cheese and British beer mustard, crispy fresh cheese curds with malt vinegar and house-made dill pickles on the side, and sourdough charcoal crackers topped with Crown Finnish Cave's Naked Pruner and tomato relish. These small bites were also served with four different Goose Island brews for tasting.

Kate Arding
"Funky cellar basement" is how Kate Arding described this fantastic rind-washed cheese.Matt Taylor-Gross

For the main course, glasses were filled with Goose Island's signature Belgian style farmhouse ale, the Sofie. With its lightness and sweet notes, it paired perfectly with the filling, savory dishes sent out of the kitchen.

Jake Cohen
Vallery Lomas, writer Jake Cohen, and writer Julia Turshen catch up at the SAVEUR SupperMatt Taylor-Gross

Talbott opened with a chicken bouillon soup with bitter greens, and cheese dumplings filled with Vermont Shepherd's Verano cheese. It was love at first bite. This dish immediately got the diners' attention, with many of the guests praising the fluffiness of the dumplings. Next was a cheese and onion pie made with Kirkham's Lancashire, along with a side salad of winter chicories and Golden Russet apple slices. And the last dish for the first part of the evening was a lamb shoulder, braised in the Goose Island Sofie, served with leeks, kale, and fried artichokes.

Goose Island
Goose Island flows like water at the supper.Matt Taylor-Gross

The main event, of course, was a full cheese course prepared by Arding. Four boards exited the kitchen, holding three different blocks of cheeses. There was Murray's Cavemaster Reserve Hollander, which was washed in Goose Island's Madame Rose. A soft and buttery Stilton by Colton Bassett, and a mild and delicate Rollright from King Stone Farm in the UK.

goodie bag
Guests were treated to a goodie bag filled with all things needed to make a stellar cheese board at home.Matt Taylor-Gross

The cheeses were meant to go with Talbot & Arding's caraway rye and spelt crackers, and Alan Gray's Seville Orange Scotch marmalade. Goose Island's sweet and strong BCS Barleywine was poured into the guests' glasses for this beautifully delicious spread.

Christina Perezzi
Christina Perezzi of Goose Island shares stories of each of the beers being served.Matt Taylor-Gross

But of course, what's a full-course cheese meal without cheesecake for dessert? Talbott put together a rich, yet somehow light, cheesecake made with fresh cheese from Churchtown Dairy-a farm up in Hudson, New York, which produces what Arding calls, "probably the best milk she's ever had in her life." The cake also had some citrusy notes, and was served with poached rhubarb.

Kate Arding
Kate Arding preps the cheese course!Matt Taylor-Gross
chicken bouillon with bitter greens and Vermont Shepard Verano cheese dumplings
Broth is added to what was easily the crowd’s favorite of the night: chicken bouillon with bitter greens and Vermont Shepard Verano cheese dumplings.Matt Taylor-Gross
Chef Mona Talbott
Chef Mona Talbott puts finishing touches on a dish at the Goose Island Saveur Supper.Matt Taylor-Gross
Buttery, flaky, and perfect cheese and onion pie
Buttery, flaky, and perfect cheese and onion pie.Matt Taylor-Gross
cheese
So much cheese. Not that we’re complaining.Matt Taylor-Gross
Kinderhook Farm lamb shoulder braised in Goose Island Sofie beer
The main course was Kinderhook Farm lamb shoulder braised in Goose Island Sofie beer.Matt Taylor-Gross
Ruby-red poached rhubarb
Ruby-red poached rhubarb to accompany cheese cake for dessert.Matt Taylor-Gross
Lizzie Weber
Lizzie Weber of Murray’s Cheese and Saveur test kitchen manager Kat Craddock talk all things cheese and say cheese at the supper.Matt Taylor-Gross
Kate Arding and Adam Moskowitz
Kate Arding and Adam Moskowitz, Columbia Cheese and Larkin Cold Storage, strike a pose at the SAVEUR supper.Matt Taylor-Gross
cheese board
A beautiful cheese board served with what might be the best marmalade ever from Alan Gray.Matt Taylor-Gross
Alex Testre
Photographer Justin Wee and Saveur editor Alex Testre smile for the camera.Matt Taylor-Gross
Mona Talbott, Christina Perozzi, and Kate Arding
Mona Talbott, Christina Perozzi, and Kate Arding say good night.Matt Taylor-Gross
cheese cake
Because there can never be too much cheese, dessert was a creamy cheese cake.Matt Taylor-Gross
Chris Cohen
SAVEUR senior editor Chris Cohen shows his table mates that a bottle of Goose Island fills a glass perfectly.Matt Taylor-Gross