# of divers

Monday, October 17, 2011

Suds and Curds for a Grand Celebration of Life

Honoring the much celebrated life of the late George Palmer, adored cheesemonger from Taste Cheese, O'Brien's Pub hosted a very special evening of rare beer and cheese pairings.

The O'Brien's staff worked closely with George's wife, Mary Palmer to ensure that each of the eight pairings spoke of something to honor George's life, including the cherished foodie's favorite traditional ales and stinkers.

The nutty sweetness and spice of the domain protected cheese, Italian Parmigiano Reggiano, played well with a Firestone Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale from the Paso Robles, California region. 

An added touch of an aged balsamic vinegar served to enhance the buttery, raw, cow's milk cheese with a delicious afterbite.

This cheese selection was well matched with the strong bitter hoppiness of Alesmith Anvil ESB from San Diego's very own award-winning Alesmith Brewing Company.

 Next, the very assertive Torta La Serena, a raw sheep's cheese from the Spain region allowed for a savory sequence of complex flavors when followed by an Orval Trappist Ale of Belgium.

This cheese was best described by Mary as the "wooly mammoth" of the barnyard cheeses.

 Didn't think one could improve a classic camembert until having a go at Co-owner Lindsey Nickel's panko breadcrumb-fried version served atop a mango chutney jelly. 

The melty, creamy staple of Normandy, France fame oozed its cheesy-fried, buttery goodness from the inside out.

 It doesn't get any more sinful or delightful than this, but it's nothing that an unmistakably Belgian Affligem Blond Ale couldn't wash away.

 An 18 month aged Montgomery Cheddar was George's favorite, as its rich, tasty, crystalline brittleness is a dream when paired with the stand-alone maltiness of a 2009 North Coast Old stock ale. The American Barley was tapped for this eve's celebration following two years of well-aging.

Pub Manager Tyson Blake stepped up some crusty, French bread by sprinkling an intense English Stilton followed by an introduction to the "birthday bacon". A steak-like, hickory-smoked pork with a touch of brown sugar. A slice of crisp Asian pear topped it off adding to its sweetness.

Alesmith once again built a strong palette landscape with the tasty-malty, hoppy character of Old Numbskull Barleywine.

Cave-Aged Gruyere... An Alpine favorite of George's, and it's as delicious as it is fun to say.

The final pairing consisted of George's all time favorites. 

A top stinker, Epoisses cow's milk cheese was presented with a Rocheforth 10 Trappist Belgian Ale as a misty-eyed roomful of friends and family raised their glasses to pay tribute to the life of George.

A beautiful celebration and a well-worthy cause. 

The heartwarming event raised an excess of $3000 with all proceeds going to The American Liver Foundation in George's good name.

A win-win for all.


Visit Taste Cheese at the following San Diego Farmer's Markets:

Little Italy Mercato on Saturdays from 9am -1:30pm

Hillcrest Farmer's Market on Sundays from 9am-2pm

North Park Farmer's Market on Thursdays from 3pm-7pm


Cheese and Cheers to you and yours.


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