h1

Day #189 – Lakewood Brewing Company

July 9, 2011

I’ve got another special tasting lined up for today, and it is for another brewery in the works in Dallas! You may recall my last tasting for a new Dallas brewery was Deep Ellum Brewing. I had such a good time at that event that I started paying more attention to what other breweries are in the works and that’s how I found Lakewood Brewing. As I mentioned before, they are not yet open and are still in the planning stages of opening their business. Lucky for me, part of their planning stage includes sharing samples of their beer at a local artisan shop. I am very excited to get my first taste of a new Dallas brewery!

Lakewood Brewing Company

Lakewood Brewing Company will eventually have their building located in Dallas, and as you may have guessed, they are looking around the Lakewood neighborhood. Today I will be able to try 3 of their offerings and also have the extra pleasure of pairing these with cheese. This event is being held at Scardello Cheese, a local artisan cheese shop. This will be my first visit to this shop as well so I am even more excited! “But wait, I thought cheese goes with wine, not beer?” Believe it or not, beer actually pairs very well with cheese and in many ways is a more suitable pairing than wine. The pairing of beer and cheese goes back a long way, back to the time when Trappist ales were some of the only large breweries around. These monasteries produced both beer and cheese and in fact, you can still find Trappist cheese products today. These were some of the staples of everyday living for people during the Middle Ages and thus began the pairing. I know all of you have heard of wine and cheese pairings, and there are plenty of excellent cheese that would pair well with a good wine, but there are some drawbacks. Wine by nature is fairly acidic, and this acid will quickly remove the cheese and its natural coating off your tongue. The palate does not fair well against acid. Beer has a much creamier mouthfeel and texture than wine and can allow for a smoother pairing with cheese. Beer also has a much higher level of carbonation than wine, which serves to lift and cleanse the palate so that the flavors and characteristics of the cheese can best be enjoyed. I’m not saying pairing cheese with wine is wrong; I’m only suggesting to give a good cheese a beer to go with it next time.

Each beer today will be paired with a different cheese that has been selected to accentuate flavors in both the beer and cheese. While I know very little about cheese compared with beer, I will try my best to describe the flavors and why I think they were paired.

We got here right as the event began and immediately the crowd grew. Glad to see such a following for a brewery not even open yet.

Lakewood Lager

20110709-030432.jpg

Vienna Lager; 4.8% ABV

As a Vienna lager, this beer will probably be their flagship beer; the one they push the most. Lagers tend to be fairly smooth but sometimes can be moderately hopped.

This beer pours a hazy golden orange color with a soft layer of white head.

The aroma is bready upfront with light notes of citrus, orange peel and soft hops.

The flavor is fairly smooth, with a upfront maltyness and grains with a bitter touch of hops on the finish.

This was paired with a white mozzarella. The cheese itself was very soft with a light flavor but a bit of sharpness comes through near the end. I believe these were paired due to the subtle bitterness of hops with the subdued sharpness of the cheese.

Tierra Madre

20110709-032240.jpg

American Pale Ale; 5.9% ABV

This beer will be a rotating beer with each incarnation. The head brewer talked to me and decided to brew this beer with locally-grown Texas hops. With each yearly batch, he will put out a call to local homebrewers who grow their own hops and whatever he gets back will be what is used in that batch. So this beer effectively will never be the same twice.

This beer pours a semi-clear light orange to copper color with a layer of white bubbles.

The aroma is fairly hoppy. Foresty hops, some pine and earthy spice. There is also an element of honey in this.

Flavor is sharp hops with a light pine flavor that is balanced by a nice fruity character. Grapefruit and pineapple give this a tropical bite. Very interesting combination of flavors. Finishes pretty smooth, earthy and minty.

It was paired with a cheddar today. The cheese was pretty sharp and flavorful. Dry on the mouthfeel. This pairs well with the hops that provide a fruity, earthy balance.

Temptress

20110709-034642.jpg

Imperial Sweet Stout; 8.9% ABV

This is their dark, rich chocolate sweet stout. Several times in their description to me did they mention chocolate so I’m willing to bet we will see some of that.

Very dark color, pours dark brown that edges on black. This one features a frothy brown type head.

Aroma is dark roasted malts with a fair bit of sweet chocolate and cocoa. Has a rich nose for sure.

The flavor is dark malts with a larger roast than was featured on the nose. The sweet chocolate emerges near the finish and through the aftertaste.

The cheese is called Barely Buzzed, an American blend from Utah. The flavor here was very soft with a smooth mouthfeel. It mixes very well with the stout in their decadent, rich flavors. Coffee notes can be picked up when sampling the beer with the cheese and rind. Best pairing by far.

After chatting with a few of the guys from Lakewood, they seem confident in their progress and the search for a building. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this name a lot more often in the next year.

Cheers!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: