October 4, 2006


All cultures worldwide have their cultures of cheese (ha ha!), as well as their cultures of alcohol. Some have a proud and varied tradition of wine -- the French and Italian, for instance. In turn, the French pair their triple-crèmes with Champagne. Others -- say, the English -- are a little prouder of their beer and take ale with their cheddar.

Then there are the Germans. Since 1810, the Bavarians have celebrated Oktoberfest, a two-week festival during which a full 30% of Munich's annual beer production is consumed! The style of beer called "Oktoberfest" is a dead match for the event. Oktoberfest beers are named after the month of their consumption (obviously), and are also known as Märzen (March) or Märzenbier for the month in which they are traditionally brewed. The style is rich, oakey, and nutty with little to no hop character; smokey brown to dark copper in color; and somewhat full-bodied with a robust alcohol content. The style also happens to be a wonderful pair for cheese!

Cooleeny Cheese

John Grogan, Sales Manager for Artisanal Premium Cheese, recently visted Cooleeny Farm in County Tipperary, Ireland for the second time. John shares his experience through a journal entry on our website.

"In the fall of 2005, as Sales Manager for Artisanal Premium Cheese -- and a true Irishman -- I had the very special opportunity to visit the luscious farm of Jim & Breda Maher at Cooleeney Farm, in County Tipperary. With the need to recharge my 'Irish Soul', and a desire to taste some more Cooleeney Cheese, I decided to make another trip to my ancestral home. This time I was able to make it a working visit (versus the social visit which was the nature of my last trip). " read more...

For a complete listing of all our journal entries, please visit the Artisanal Cheese Journal.

Oktoberfest Cheese & Beer Pairings

If you are planning to throw an Oktoberfest party and are searching for a perfect hors d'Oeuvres to match the obligated beer consumption, look no further. This fall, celebrate Oktoberfest with plenty of beer and plenty of cheese.

Westcombe Cheddar: It is no secret that cheddars are a wonderful pair for beer. This Oktoberfest, bring Westcombe - its wild, gamy taste melds nicely with the broad, nutty taste of a Bavarian Märzen.

Normally $26.25 per lb -- On sale for $21.00 per lb

Bayley Hazen Blue: Mateo Kehler's take on Stilton is one of the quintessential American beer cheeses and pairs wonderfully with a wide variety of brews, Oktoberfest included. Enjoy!

Normally $18.50 per lb -- On sale for $16.00 per lb

Grayson: Virginia's own Grayson takes its cues from the old world and is somewhat akin to a Belgian Chimay. It starts off tangy, fresh, and sweet, and finishes warm and smooth as butter. Its subtle, washed-rind flavor stands up to even the most insistent of Oktoberfest.

$21.00 per lb

Roomano: The enveloping flavors of caramel and butterscotch that pervade our artisanally-produced six-year Roomano transform effortlessly through a crisp, malty Märzenbier.

$20.50 per lb

Add All 4 To Your Basket!

Visit our Beer & Cheese Pairing Tips section of our website for more advice!

Also, Try These Complementing Condiments!

Farmhouse Marinated Olives: Six Italian grown olive varieties are featured in this special blend of Farmhouse marinated olives.

$15.00 each

Fruit & Nut Crostini: Anjou's Fruit Nut Crostini are created from handmade multigrain bread studded with nuts and dried fruit. The bread is sliced thin, toasted, and lightly sprinkled with a coarse sugar crystals.

$10.00 each

For more great offers visit our Specials Page every day,
then stop by our Accessories & Gifts Clearance Section for more!

Holiday Preview

We are excited to offer you a “sneak peak” at the products from our 2007 catalog! We have significantly expanded our collections with and are proud to offer a glance at the unusual with our Rare & Exotic Cheese Collection, a tour around the globe with our World Collections and a closer look at our local cheese makers with our Vermont Cheese Collection. We’ve also updated our Cheese of the Month club with an Auto-Renew option and are introducing the Artisanal Premium Cheese Connoisseur’s Club! Plus, get an insider’s look into the creative mind of Chef Terrance Brennan with his Cooking with Cheese Collection and his extensive Artisanal Pantry.

These products will be available for purchase November 1st so keep us in mind for all of your holiday gift-giving.

Take a Class at the Cheese Center

For more great classes visit our Web site now.

Craft Beer & Artisanal Cheese

6:30pm-8:30pm; Wednesday, October 18

With Jon Lundbom & Scott Vacaro

Here at Artisanal, we're celebrating our harvest with a class pairing artisanal cheeses with the handcrafted brews of Pleasantville, New York's Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. Join Jon and special guest brewmaster Scott Vaccaro from Captain Lawrence for an indulgent sampling of the world's best cheeses paired with Captain Lawrence's autumn selections, including their Pale Ale, Smoked Porter, and Dubbel.

Enroll Now!

Ireland's Cheese Renaissance

6:30pm-8:30pm; Friday, October 27

With Breda Maher & Max McCalman

Experience the delicious and distinctive cheeses of Ireland. Irish Cheesemaker Breda Maher and our Maitre Fromager Max McCalman will treat you to an informative seminar and mouthwatering tasting featuring the best cheeses of the Emerald Isle, paired with flavorful wines, ciders and stout ales.

Sign up here!

Enroll in any of our many classes today!

Trivia from the Cheese Caves

Question: - What is the definition of Triple crème? Double crème? Find out in the next Artisanal e-newsletter!
- The Artisanal Staff

Last Time We Asked: Why are some cheeses orange in color?

Answer: Many cow's milk cheeses are colored to give a more uniform appearance. Sometimes, when whole milk is used, there may be ivory blotches in the paste. This is a result of the cream being suspended in the curd. Annatto is sometimes added. It is a tropical fruiting shrub or small tree found in central and south America and the Caribbean that has many properties including astringent diuretic antioxidant and some say aphrodisiac! Annatto is generally tasteless and is also used in products from margarine to saffron substitutes, to cosmetics, textile dyes and traditional medicines.

Annatto (Roucou, en Francais) might be the most common agent dying your cheese orange, but there are several other culprits in the cheese game. Grayson, an outstanding washed-rind, cow's milk cheese, for instance, gets its coloring from the presence of B. Linens. Certain breeds of cows consume enough carotene to lend their milk an orange hue. With other cheeses, flavorings such as Pimenton (or even just tomato) are added to the milk or rubbed on during aging, lending an orange or rustic brown color. But those subjects will have to wait for a later newsletter!

Check out some of our orange cheeses:

Double Gloucester
Appleby's Cheshire
Robusto Gouda

Do you have a question for our trivia section?
Send it to editor@artisanalcheese.com and we may use it in a future newsletter!