Wisconsin has scores of great cheese producers, Hidden Springs is no exception. Brenda and Dean Jensen tend roughly 250 East Friesian and Lacaune sheep to make their range of cheeses. Their feta is 100% sheep milk, just like the Greek classic, and has a subtle depth that is at once simple and compelling.
The brininess contrasts with DAB’s malt flavors, tempering the cheese’s saltiness and a tilting the beer’s balance towards the malt flavor. The carbonation cuts the soft creamy texture of the cheese, and the bitterness contrasts the sweet milky flavors. The grassy flavors of the sheep milk complement the hop flavors and create a point of connection between the beer and cheese.
|Aroma: very very low milk with a hint of brine|
|Flavor: gently sweet milk, medium salt and very low grass, low cottage cheese aftertaste with low salt and a slight tartness|
|Texture: soft and creamy with microscopic graininess|
|Impact: overall low impact due to saltiness; dairy impact is very low|
|Pairing: The saltiness from the cheese causes the malt to present as a medium rustic bread flavor, bitterness is medium-low and minerals present immediately at medium-low intensity; semi-dry finish, low sage-like hop flavor lingers with very low grainy honey-like malt. The bitterness of the beer elevates the sweetness of the cheese to a medium-low intensity with a low buttery note, and the saltiness is less intense; grassiness dominates aftertaste with low milk and salt supporting.|