Don't overthink it — beer and cheese go together like, well, beer and cheese. Do the right thing and check out these new fromage boards around town and pair them with your favorite brew.
803 S. St. Mary's, (210) 988-3063
Why You Need It: There are cheese boards and then there is THIS cheese masterpiece. Available at Brigid where chef Chris Carlson (formerly with Sandbar) orders a balanced variety of cheeses and while his staff takes care of the creative plating. You'll find four cheeses — a Chabichou French goat cheese, a cave-aged sheep in the Pecorino Toscano Oro, a Délice de Bourgogne cow's milk cheese and a Jasper Hill — paired with a colorful assembly of accouterments. A splash of raspberry coulis, a spoonful of orange marmalade, a smudge of balsamic fig puree, short caramelized apple cylinders, two types of thinly sliced pears and a smattering of marigold petals all make an appearance at this cheese party.
Pair It With: A Blanche de Bruxelles white Belgian brew available at the adjacent Francis Bogside
214 Broadway, (210) 375-4082, nectarsa.com
Why You Need It: Nectar owners Rob and Rachel Stephens are winning over foodies, winos and craft lovers with their fromage boards. As one of the top three appetizers sold, the board is available with two, three or four types of cheeses. Take some pals and go for four. Go in the evening and work on your night cheese, but ditch the orange cheddar for curated plates that combine cheeses from Gaucho Gourmet and Antonelli's Cheese Shop in Austin. The Favorites include the Le Pommier Camembert, a cow milk's cheese out of Herve Mons France and the Drunken Goat, a firm goat queso coming out of Spain and flavored with Merlot. Texan cheeses also make a cameo — the Apache Blue out of Granbury Texas is their beginner blue for those who are dipping their toes into stinky cheese. Or go big and try the EWE CALF to be KIDding with cow, ewe and goat's milk.
Pair It With: Rob recommends pairing the Red Dragon, a semi-soft cheddar with stone ground mustard with a Sam Adams' Fat Jack
203 E. Jones Ave., Suite 101, (210) 277-8574, rosellacoffee.com
Why You Need It: Reserved, but sleek plating means we can concentrate on the cheesy task at hand. The black granite plate comes loaded with water crisps, a teensy bowl of olives and fruit compote to pair with the raw goat cheddar from LaClare Farms in Wisconsin, a Blue d'Auvergne made with cow's milk intead of sheep and Boston Post Dairy's Gisele, a magical combo of goat and cow milks that's washed in spiced apple cider. It's the perfect mid-day snack, or shareable post-work dinner.
Pair It With: Ask the staff. Rosie's rotating cast of beers changes often.
Adopt Some Orphans
Head to Central Market and pickup the leftover bits and pieces left over from the cheese monger's selection. These little bundles will cost no more than a fiver, which means you can load up on a few. Don't shy away from bleus either. Like Carlson says, "Just because a cheese smells like crap, doesn't mean it tastes like it."
Load Up On Fixins
And pick up some nuts. I'm partial to walnuts and almonds that provide that fun crunch.
Go Basic With Your Crackers
Water crisps, plain, what-have-you. Keep it chill so as to not overwhelm your cheese.
Elevate Your Taste Buds
Pick up a jar of Taste Elevated's (405 Hwy. 90 W., 830-538-5079) sweet and spicy mustard seeds. They also go great with pulled pork sliders.
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