A Summer Memory: Gouda + Gruyère


by Victoria of vmac+cheese



Back in the day, my mother used to be an avid cyclist. It’s one of the strongest memories I have of her as a little girl — constantly training on her stationary bike in our living room, spending weekends doing races.

Every year, she’d participate in one ride that took participants from Austin, where we lived, to the tiny little town of Shiner. If the name of the town sounds vaguely familiar, it’s for a good reason: Shiner is the hometown of the dark, sweet, bock beer of the same name. I secretly think this ride was my mom’s favorite. I mean, how could it not be? An easy bike ride across the Texas countryside, with Shiner Bock your reward on the other end?

I remember meeting her in Shiner for this race every year, and watching all the adults enjoy a cold bock after the long ride (or the long wait at the finish line). So it’s not surprising that bocks have become one of my favorite beers too.

In San Francisco, where I live now, Shiner can be a little bit harder to find; instead, I often opt for a bock made by local favorite Anchor Steam. It’s the perfect thing to end a long day, especially when paired with a little cheese and salami before dinner.

Wisconsin Gouda – I particularly like Marieke – makes a smooth, easy match with bock’s robust flavors. For something a little zippier, I like to match a Wisconsin Gruyère like Pleasant Ridge Reserve with a slice of salami and a little smear of brown mustard. Sip the bock to wash it all down, and the spicy flavors in the mustard highlight the sweetness of the beer and cheese alike.

Wisconsin Cheese and a cold bock – my Cheese Cupid flavorful pairing story, and one that can definitely cure any homesickness I have!