Beer, to me, is a story in a bottle. It develops over time, it encourages you to think and it teaches you something about yourself and your palate. As a beer buyer at our fancy little food store, St. Patrick’s Day is not all that different from any other day, honestly. There isn’t a lot of great beer coming out of Ireland not called Guinness or Murphy’s, although the craft brewing revolution, though small and new, is at least alive and well. Although we can’t yet source Irish craft beers in the States, here are a few domestic St. Patrick’s Day recommendations.
One of the cheeses we get from Neal’s Yard Dairy in London is named for the town of Caerphilly because that’s where most of the wheels (made in the surrounding countryside) were sold. The delicious Caerphilly cheese we sell in our store today is made at Gorwydd Farm in the town of Llanddewi Brefi in Ceredigion.
Beer buyer Eric gives us some insight into the massive party known as Oktober Fest and tells us a bit about his three beer picks for this season.
Recently, a lot of the hype at Neal’s Yard Dairy has been about a new cheese from Wales called Hafod. I’m pretty excited, as it is the first new cheese that’s become available since I took on the role of British Isles cheese buyer, so I’d love to say a bit about the rather cool story behind it.
Almost every Sunday evening at Formaggio Kitchen, we hold a class. Most of our classes somehow involve cheese, even if that’s not the headline topic for the evening. Classes range from Cheese 101 (always a sell out!) to classes that focus on subjects such as Piedmontese wines, American beers, pizza making or barbecuing!
Though we may think of Europe as the epicenter of fine chocolate, America is arguably home to the world’s most exciting community of up-and-coming chocolate makers.
You’ll catch a lot of us on the staff stopping by local beer tastings, seeking out new and hard-to-find bottles, and regularly checking out (and sampling) the rotating taps at our favorite Boston-area bars. A few of us also brew our own beer – recent undertakings have included a clone of Stone Ruination IPA, and a beer brewed with fresh cranberries that somehow ended up measuring a whopping 2% ABV (we lovingly call this one “Granny Cran”).
I was never much of a beer drinker until I moved to England… There, I gradually came to appreciate the taste of beer when I accompanied colleagues to the pub for a post-work pint or when I would meet friends for an evening out. Still, I never bought beer and kept it in my fridge – it was just one of those things that I would occasionally have when I was out. Brooklyn Brewery changed that.
On Wednesday evening, I had the good fortune to be able to sit in on a pig butchering demo here at the shop. The demo was conducted by Julie, our in-house charcutière, and Jason, the chef at our South End location. What a pair they made!
By now you’ve probably (hopefully) heard about our Super Bowl BBQ + Beer Bonanza, February 6-7, here at FK. Inside, we’ll have free tastings of beers from our favorite brewers.