Series Beer and Cheese Pairing: Mariners in the Great North Battle Colorful Corvids. 5/3-5/6

Howdy! It's been a while, as you may have guessed. Yes, opening a pub and keeping up with production doesn't leave you a lot of time and the second Astros series really drained my Mariners Motivation. However, thing are starting to gel, I have a vacation on the horizon and it's gonna to be sunny and warm for an entire week! It's almost as if Monteto hit a triple or something. I'll do these when I can and luckily I have time while waiting for a delivery.

The beer, I think we can all agree Felix is a one of kind, truly unique player. He's taking the mound in just a couple hours and I'd like to recommend a beer that's utterly unique, perfect for sunshine (lollipops optional) and has its own very regal glass. I think Matthew may have covered it last year, but it bares repeating. I get asked a lot in interviews what my favorite beer is, this one is in my top three. It's Orval, brewed in a Belgian monastery. Orval comes in its own very distinct bottle and has its own glass produced just for the beer.

The brewery is run by the Trappists, meaning after covering salaries and production cost, the profits go to charities around the world. They only make two beers. The classic which is bottled and sold throughout the world and the petit, which is a table beer only available at the cafe attached to the brewery. I've never had the petit, but I love it when breweries make them. Hair of the Dog does it at their pub and I hope others do it more often.

Orval is nifty in a few ways, on the surface it's a hoppy (by European standards) Belgian blonde. However it is bottle conditioned with brettamyces. Brett, as we like to call it, is a subspecies of yeast (saccharomyces), when discovered it commonly 'ruined' British beers thus it was named after bad British beer. Like yeast, there's a bunch of 'breeds', some impart a sour cherry flavor, others a barnyard or 'wet horse' aroma. A local Brett has an intense cedar and pineapple flavor.

Anyhow, Orval is inoculated with Brett Brux, which over time makes the beer wonderfully rustic, with notes of spice, barnyard, oranges and a billion other flavors. It becomes increasingly complex, dry, crisp with a hint of tartness. They date each bottle and I always check the date when I'm at stores. I love it at any age, it's a lot like Felix's pitches. Each one is beautiful and distinct.

The cheese for this series is also in my top three. Fluer de Marquis, it's from Corsica and it generally only comes out in late spring early summer (right now!). It's made from sheep's milk and is rubbed in the local wild herbs. It's rich, creamy, springy and light. I know these adjectives contradict each other. That's because this cheese is so wonderfully balanced and complex it can get away with it. This is the kind of cheese, I take a bite and let it sit for a whole minute as I absorb all its goodness. In all honesty on a sunny day, there's nothing I'd love more than a cold Orval, a piece of Fluer de Marquis and a baguette.

This cheese might be difficult to find, I'm pretty sure places like Met Market, Whole Foods or Central Market might have it. Otherwise, if you've never been to Big John's PFI. You need to go there, it'll change your food loving life.

When I'm not on my phone I'll go back and add links.