Wisconsin Lager Kase Brick Cheese
Brick cheese originated in 1877 when Swiss-born Cheese maker John Jossi decided to make a milder cheese than the Limburger he was making in a cheese plant in Richwood, Wisconsin. Jossi used less bacterium linens to rub the cheese and he used bricks to press the cheese which gives the cheeses their brick shape. Widmers have been making brick cheese for 3 generations and Joe Widmer still uses the same bricks used by his grandfather to press the cheese.
Widmer Cellars Wisconsin Lager Kase Brick Cheese is a smear ripened, washed rind cheese made from cow's milk. It is beige with a slightly mottled look from the beer wash with Wisconsin's Lakefront Fixed Gear, an American Red Ale, and has a light brown rind with marks from the mold. The paste has many small eyes and is semi-soft and creamy with an almost waxy texture and a slight graininess that dissolves in the mouth. The cheese is pungent, with some funk, sweaty wool socks, grass and yeast aromas. The flavor is milder that the smell with buttery, yeasty mushroom and grass notes and a light bitter touch on the finish. I am eating the cheese with an Utepils B.R.D. (Beer Ready to Drink), a German Helles with richly developed malt flavors, medium carbonation, and a nice bitter hop accent. The beer cleanses the palate and the hops work with the cheese's bitter notes while the beer's malt flavors soften the cheese's bitterness. The beer sweetens the cheese up a little while the cheese gives the beer more character. The hop flavors play with the grass notes in the cheese and the beer brings out the cheese's yeast flavors. The beer and the cheese take each other to new levels. I rate the pairing 85.