Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The 2011 Brisbane Cheese Awards

I rocked up to the Brisbane Cheese Awards VIP Breakfast on Sunday at the unholy hour of 8am, not sure of what to expect. Attendance was small, about 20 or 30 people, and everyone in the room was either a cheese-maker, a blogger, or Will Studd.

This was the first time I'd been invited to an event based solely on the fact that I sometimes write about things I like to put in my mouth, and I was unsure what was expected of me. As it turned out, not much. I drank some coffee, ate some croissants, clapped for the winners, and gazed longingly at Will Studd.




After the awards, I was introduced to Matt Kirkegaard and had an enlightening conversation with him about the current state of craft beer venues in Brisbane. Buoyed by his enthusiasm, I immediately decided to throw down the $25 to attend his beer and cheese matching masterclass happening later in the day. I then made my way downstairs to the wharf area, where the many cheese producers were making final preparations to their stalls to receive the long line of people that had formed at the gate.




Once inside, I flitted from stall to stall, sampling cheeses, olives, and beer. There were so many amazing types of cheese available for tasting, everything from Shiraz-infused sheep's cheese to buffalo mozzarella, it was quite bewildering. And best of all, most of the producers were offering special discounts on their cheese.




Emerging momentarily from my cheese-dream-haze, I glanced at my watch and realised I'd lost an hour and it 
was already 11 o'clock: time for Matt's beer and cheese matching masterclass.






In the masterclass, four beers were matched to four cheeses. While we sipped and nibbled, Matt explained his reasons for the pairings and explained the origin of each beer, and Peter Gross talked about the cheese side of things. The cheese servings were very generous, and all but one of the beers were new to me. It was a very enjoyable hour (mostly thanks to Matt's infectious enthusiasm for good beer), and speaking to some non-beer drinkers after the event, it seemed that Matt had managed to convince them there was far more to beer than VB and XXXX. For the curious, here's the list of beer and cheese matches:

  • Burleigh Brewing's HEFF & Meredith Goats Milk Chevre
  • Bridge Road Brewers Chevalier Saison & Richmond Brie
  • Meantime IPA & Pyengana Cheddar
  • Brewboys Seeing Double & Jindi's Old Telegraph Road - Sapphire Blue

Straight after Matt's masterclass, Will Studd held his first "cheese education session" of the day. He gave a very entertaining account of his own history with cheese (including the infamous Roquefort burial) and finished by answering any and all cheese questions thrown his way. I'm very much looking forward to the next series of Cheese Slices, wherein he visits Bhutan in search of the origins of cheese-making.




With a stomach full of cheese and beer, I decided to make my way home. The stalls were still being hit hard by a public hungry for good cheese, and both Will and Matt still had classes to teach, but I'd had my fill. It was a fantastic day, well-attended and well-organised. I'm definitely looking forward to next year's awards. But in the meantime, I've got a hell of a lot of cheese to eat.

The winners:

Fresh Curd Soft
Woodside Cheese Wrights Woodside Manon
Woodside Cheese Wrights Woodside Chevre
Meredith Dairy Fresh Chevre

Fresh Curd Textured
Vannella Cheese Factory Buffalo Mozzarella
Udder Delights Ash Chevre
Woodside Cheese Wrights Woodside Monet

Fresh Curd Matured
Hindmarsh Valley Dairy Boschetto Rotolo
Tweed Valley Whey Farmhouse Cheese Fresian Fog

Fresh Curd Marinated
Udder Delights Marinated Chevre
Meredith Dairy Marinated Goats Cheese

White Mould
Emmos Fine Foods Nannybert
Jindi Cheese Triple Cream Brie
The Wicked Cheese Company Richmond Triple Cream Brie

Blue
Jindi Cheese Old Telegraph Road Heritage Blue
Jindi Cheese Old Telegraph Road Sapphire Blue

Washed Rind
Witches Chase Cheese Company L.I. Washed Rind
Woodside Cheese Wrights Woodside Figaro

Cheddar
Pyengana Dairy Tasty Cheddar
Ashgrove Cheese Cloth Matured Cheddar

Semi Hard Cooked Style
Gallo Dairy Tilsit
Gallo Dairy Gruyere

Hard Cooked Style
Milawa Cheese Capricornia

Australian Specialists Cheesemakers’ Association Cup – Best Queensland Cheese
Witches Chase Cheese Co L.I. Washed Rind

Lord Mayor’s Cup – Champion Cheese
Jindi Cheese Old Telegraph Road Heritage Blue

Cheese Please Cup
Best Fresh Curd – Soft

Woodside Cheese Wrights Woodside Manon

Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Fresh Curd – Marinated
Meredith Dairy Marinated Goats Cheese

Black Pearl Epicure Cup
Best White Mould
Emmos Fine Foods Nannybert

Palatable Partners Cup
Best Blue Cheese

Jindi Cheese Old Telegraph Road Heritage Blue

Fino Food & Wine Cup
Best Washed Rind

Witches Chase Cheese Co L.I. Washed Rind

Rosalie Gourmet Market Cup
Best Cheddar

Pyengana Dairy Tasty Cheddar

Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Fresh Curd –Textured

Udder Delights Ashed Chevre

Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Fresh Curd – Matured

Hindmarsh Valley Dairy Boschetto Rotolo

Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Semi Hard / Hard Cooked Style

Gallo Farms Tilset


*Special thanks to Brooke Boyschau and Laura Walls for the invite and for being so darned nice.

1 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post Stu! It really took us along for the journey and I am sad that I missed the festivities.

Post a Comment