Budvar and cheese pairing
I was asked if I would like to attend a Budweiser Budvar and cheese pairing session. The answer was an enthusiastic yes. I have been a fan of the products of the Czech government-owned brewery since the Knight & Garter opened here in Leicester. It was nearly four years ago, and they brought us unpasteurised, unfiltered Budvar Kräusened. It is delivered directly from the České Budějovice cellars and served from a copper beer kettle. Before that I had been to the Czech Republic when I was about 14. I drank a fair few beers – but I have no idea what they were!
Virtual Beer Tasting
I have to confess that I have a silver lining when it comes to lockdown (should such a thing exist). I have been able to attend many more events than I would normally have been able to in Bam Bam’s first year thanks to the joys of virtual tastings and talks. This was one such opportunity. Our host was the new brand ambassador for Budvar, Radim Zvánovec. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and thoroughly fascinating as a host.
Beer and Cheese
Two very exciting parcels arrived in advance of the event. The beers were the regular Budvar Original, Budvar Reserve and Budvar Dark. There was also a Budvar branded bar blade and a lovely chunky glass with a big handle to help keep your beer cold. Plus a poster and a jar with the spices for our marinated cheese. Not long after, a delicious parcel of three cheese from the Bristol Cheesemonger came to my door.
I didn’t write tasting notes during the session, because quite frankly sometimes it’s just nice to live in the moment. But they were wonderful. The full-flavoured Budvar Original, with its whole cone Saaz hops made a beautiful match for the lightly flavoured, creamy Merry Wyfe cheese with its cider washed rind.
The real beauty was of course the Budvar Reserve. They mature the Reserve for 200 days. It packs a weighty 7.5% punch. The pairing was with the Rachel goat’s cheese, which has a brine washed rind. This deeper, more brooding lager had honeyed, almost caramel malty notes . The sweetness and complexity matched perfectly with the earthy goatiness of the cheese. There was much debate as to whether goatiness is actually a word amongst the participants. I don’t know why since it obviously is.
Finally we had the Budvar dark lager along with the Devon Blue cheese. This is a dry, lightly flavoured blue. It took on the slight sweetness of the beer well. The coffee notes were an excellent match for the salty savouriness of the cheese. As you can tell, all three pairings were excellent. And Bam Bam enjoyed tasting all of the cheese with me.
Making marinated cheese
Next up was the real audience participation section, where we made our own marinated cheese. It is a typical Czech snack to enjoy with a beer. I have mine in the fridge marinating away. It will be amazing to crack it open early next week! I am going to enjoy it with my extra special large bottle of Budvar Reserve, signed by the Head Brewer. That is a limited edition, one of only 200 bottles. It is a real honour to be given it to enjoy. Maybe I’ll share it with The Boy. Maybe.
Thanks to Budvar and the Bristol Cheesemonger who sent me the beer and cheese to try. I was under no obligation to write or post about the event. But I wanted to, so there.