Eat This Cheese: Sixpoint's Ale-Washed Cheese from Sprout Creek Farms
It's not uncommon to find cheese in the office. Often, it's a ball of fresh mozzarella from DiPalo across the street, which disappears by the time everyone discovers it sitting on the countertop. But when this cheese came along, it set a new office record. Gone, poof, in just a few minutes. We were all getting up from our desks to slice off a bite, and then another...
Pungent, nutty, grassy, buttery, stinky, this is really unlike any other cheese I've ever tried. Plus, you can actually taste the Sixpoint beer in the rind. Beer and cheese is one thing, and a wonderful thing, but beer in cheese. The raw cow's milk cheese from Sprout Creek Farms in the Hudson Valley is aged in SIxpoint's Diesel Ale, a Black IPA and American stout combo, for 60 days. The dark beer bath imparts a malty, slightly sweet component on the Époisses-like soft, creamy, pungent cheese.
Beer-washing isn't terribly common; Chimay produces some in much larger batches. But much more typical is washing a rind cheese in a solution that can include whey, brine, wine, or an unaged white spirit that you don't really taste like you do here. Full of nuances, the "Point of Origin" cheese can be eaten alone or with a beer (!) like an IPA or something else bright and hoppy to cut the richness.
Each four-inch wheel of the "Point of Origin" cheese is available at Whole Foods stores in the Northeast region.