It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Football season is upon us, and my Sundays are once again devoted to wings, beer, fantasy football and NFL Redzone. This Sunday I decided to stray slightly from my weekly agenda. Wings with ranch wasn’t gonna cut it, so I assembled a cheese plate and paired some beers. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Here are some of the cheese and beers I enjoyed last Sunday (and some I didn't):   

Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog
Cypress Grove is an award-winning cheese company out of Vermont, and Humboldt Fog is a favorite of mine. It’s mild but tangy, creamy but still crumbly with a thin layer of earthy ash in the center that gets me every time. I paired this cheese with Lefthand Brewing’s seasonal Oktoberfest. As a devotee of both Humboldt Fog and anything Lefthand brews, I was excited about this one. The sweet toasted malt from the beer contrasted nicely with the creamy nature of the cheese and amplified its tangy, savory flavor.

Second pairing: Avery Brewing’s Ellie’s Brown Ale. The smoky hints of this beer paired well with that ash layer in the center of the cheese, enhancing the complexity of flavors. Both beers worked very well with this cheese. I say Humboldt Fog is the versatile quarterback, easily compatible with many different wide receivers…I mean beers. Football. 

Campo De Montalban
Camp De Montalban looks similar to Manchego and also originates from Spain, but differs due to the trifecta of milks used to make the cheese — goat, sheep and cow blend into a true delicacy here. I paired this cheese with that Avery Brewing’s Ellie’s Brown Ale. This beer is a longtime favorite of mine for plenty of reasons: it's sweet with hints of chocolate, coffee and smoked nuts. The beer perfectly complimented the sweet, nutty nature of the Campo De Montalban and finishes strong with a hit of coffee and when chased with the sweet, milky cheese. Consider this the Tom Brady of cheese teamed with the Rob Gronkowski of beers: a match made in heaven. 

Brie de Nangis
I was intrigued by Brie de Nangis, a cheese made just an hour outside of Paris not far from the legendary region of Brie. Unfortunately, this was my least favorite of the three cheeses by a long shot — I found it to be boring and average. It's nothing that you couldn’t find at any grocery store for $5/lb. Totally coincidentally, this cheese was paired with Alamo Golden Ale, a Texas beer I found to be sub-par. Together, this pairing was more wobbly than a Tim Tebow pass. 

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