Tasting- Le Brewery's Odo and Old Cheese
Odo and Cheese
I came home and didn't have any bread to go with my cheese. I didn't have anything much at all in my frig but beer and some floppy carrots. Bare cupboards and beer bottles abounded but nothing to go with my cheese. I had picked up a bit of funky looking fromage from the Pigelle Bio c'bon and spaced the idea of what else to put it with. Surely not organic fair trade tea, bio-degradable sponges (we'll see how that works out) or kale.
I needed bread and beer is liquid bread.
Voilà- à table!
“Beers brewed with passion and the belief. Ale that is an art.”
Le brewery is a family run business, founded by Steve and Jane Skews in 2001 in Normandy, France. The country is best known it's ciders, cheeses and military defense zones, not so much for it's hand crafted beer. Le Brewery, however, has been a mission for the past eleven years to produce good beer in France. Located in the heart of cider country, their British style real ale is now being exported all over Europe.
Spreading their passion for beer that is crafted by hand and using only the finest, Le Brewery hosts an annual beer festival, runs two pubs and houses campers in their hops fields. If you are on your way south for a ‘sojourne en Normandie,’ Le Brewery is located just 1.5 hours south of the ferry port of Caen.
Not just touristy, Le Brewery is also picky about their ingredients: Normandy water, imported English malt from Warminster Maltings, live yeast from an old English yeast strain and home grown hops. Their 10-barrel system and hand picked ingredients roll together to bring out Odo. Their toasted, dark and brooding 6.6% stout inspired by a real historical dude, who was portrayed on screen by John Nettleton in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966), part of the series in the TV drama Blood Royal: William the Conqueror (1990).
Sticking historical and hand made- I picked up some bio Fourme d'Ambert. Legend has it that Fourme d'Ambert was alreading being made at the time of the Druids and Gauls. Odo himself likely munched on the mold while plotting to become pope. It is certainly one of the oldest cheese in France along with Roquefort but not the stinkiest. The mildest of the blue cheeses, Fourme d'Ambert has a creamy texture and delicate mushroom falvor.
A: Pours a brooding dark brown with a slim, thin head and reddish hues.
S: Chocolates, roasty malts and a hue hit of vanilla bean- rather basic.
T: Dark, rich chocolates, velvety dried red fruits and a toasted caramel finish. No vanilla in the taste, but the smell is present through out. A few sips in and there is slightly black licorice after taste.
M: Creamy coating
O: Although not as milky stout as I would have assumed, Odo has a nice rounded presence with a lactose mouth coating and acute flavor layers. Not my favorite, not extremely memorable but simple, well done and perfect for my cheese mongering.
Pairing: The lactose lingering gets nicely cut to pieces by my fatty blue molded cheese. Cream on top of cream becomes a smoked dessert.
Two things made with so much love- coming together in my mouth! Historically balanced and indulgently rich.
Merci Anglophones for bringing your beer habits onto French soil. And then shipping it to Paris. So I can drink it with my cheese because I don't have any bread. Ho hum.