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Cheese & Spirit Pairings

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By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Wine and cheese? Of course. Beer and cheese? Sure! Honestly, if you ask me, cheese pairs quite well with…pretty much everything, because I just plain love cheese. This week, I was lucky enough to join in on a cheese and spirit pairing. Although I’ve happily enjoyed cheese boards at restaurants and parties (because, as previously mentioned, cheese and I are grand old friends), this was my first time doing a dedicated tasting with pairings.

 Spirits from Great Lakes Distillery with a plate of Clock Shadow Creamery cheese.

The cheeses were from Clock Shadow Creamery (with some from its parent, Cedar Grove Cheese) and the spirits came from Great Lakes Distillery. First up were the spreadable cheeses. Fresh chevre paired with Rehorst Gin and quark with Rehorst Citrus-Honey Vodka. Next we moved on to “Weird Sisters,” a water buffalo and cow milk blend alongside Rehorst Barrel Reserve Gin. This was my favorite pairing of the day, thanks in no small part to the deliciousness of each individual element. But they were even better when brought together, and a light bulb went off over my head: this is the point of pairings! The best qualities of the cheese brought out the best qualities of the spirit and vice versa. Amazing.

We continued with Donatello, a sheep’s milk cheese whose nutty flavor was complimented by Roaring Dan's Rum, and Banquo, another sheep milk cheese, paired with Kinnickinnic Whiskey. (And yes, your English major blogger was loving all the Shakespeare references.) Finally, it was time for a fresh cheese curd with grappa, one of the Artisan Series Brandies. Now, those of you who are in the know about the great Wisconsin tradition that is the cheese curd know that the squeak is the thing. A fresh curd will squeak between your teeth when you bite into it, and I can say beyond any doubt that this was the squeakiest curd I’ve ever eaten. Cheese curd fans: get yourself to Clock Shadow Creamery posthaste. They make fresh curds on Wednesday and Friday mornings. You want them straight out of the vat, just like these.

Clock Shadow Creamery and Great Lakes Distillery have done pairings in the past as special events, so keep a look out for the next time one comes up – or try out the pairings I mentioned here at home! Uber Tap Room at Wisconsin Cheese Mart regularly hosts events pairing cheese with beer, cocktails and more, and offers a menu of cheese plates specially chosen to pair with beer or wine every day. Cheese is great on its own (so great), but adding a special pairing to your tasting both enhances your enjoyment of both components and makes it all feel a little bit more special!


4 Ways to Get Active in Milwaukee This Spring

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April 8, 2015

By Rose Robinson
Marketing Intern
VISIT Milwaukee

After a cold winter (although it was rather mild compared to last year’s polar vortex), it’s finally time to emerge and enjoy the Milwaukee weather we know and love. With warm weather comes the luxury of spending time outside, and what better to do than start getting active? Put those New Year’s resolutions to the test after a winter of neglect with these activities.

  1. Running. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, the warm weather is ideal for exploring the city with a jog. Scenic trails are all over Milwaukee, offering you a variety of routes to suit your preferences. The RiverWalk along the Milwaukee River is a personal favorite of mine—say hello to the Bronze Fonz and give Gertie the Duck a nice rub on the beak on the way. Bradford Beach is also a popular route (the scenery of Lake Michigan and people-watching might even distract you from how far you’re really running!). As a reward, stop by Colectivo Lakefront for a refreshing iced coffee on the patio afterwards. Run for a mile, walk a few miles with a friend or, if you’re feeling very ambitious, start training for the half marathon or the 5k you’ve always wanted to do. Check out some of the races held in Milwaukee for inspiration!
  2. Volleyball. Spring may be a little too early for a dip in the lake, but it’s never too early to start working on your volleyball skills to impress your friends at Bradford Beach this summer. Get a group of friends together and make a team for a league at Bradford or the Horny Goat Hideaway, which also has sand volleyball courts.
  3. Biking. Grab your bike and hit the town! This is a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon and an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Take your bike, and the city is your oyster. Don’t have a bike? No problem. The new Bublr Bikes bike share system has you covered. With stations around the Milwaukee area, you can rent a bike and then return it when you are finished.
  4. Spectating. Okay, so you’re not active or sporty in the slightest. We can work with that! Watching others being active is fun too, and what’s better than watching the Milwaukee Brewers play at Miller Park? You may not be running the bases, but the sunshine on your face and a light spring breeze blowing through your hair is still enjoying the elements with minimal effort.