Two of my favorite things on the planet are cheese and beer, especially when paired well together. When I found out that Hubbell & Hudson, in the Woodlands, was hosting their 2nd beer & cheese festival, I knew I wanted to make the trek up there to check it out. I had yet to visit Hubbell & Hudson, so I had another excuse. To me, it is like a mini Central Market, specialty foods, small but quality beer selection, wines, coffee and a little restaurant with seating in a loft style area upstairs and outside. Another bonus, you can order a glass of wine or a beer and drink it while you shop.
I liked the set-up of having the beer and cheese stations spread around the store, also strategic for them because you inevitably end up shopping while walking around. I would have liked to see the beer and the suggested cheese pairing all in one place. Though they did an excellent job of noting on all the cards which cheese or which beer would pair well with the offering, which is definitely helpful. I put together a little collage of my favorite cheeses, as I thought the beer offered was more for people who want to get into craft beer or just try a wide range of styles without committing to a 6-pack purchase.
The top left picture is the Brugges in beer, my favorite at the festival by far. it is a cow’s milk cheese that has been soaked in Rodenbach Grand Cru for about two weeks. I loved this beer when I had an 08 vintage in San Diego at Toronado, as well as at the Sweet & Sour event during San Antonio beer week.
The top right is a Beehive cheese (makers of the Barely Buzzed I loved from Houston Dairymaids), it is their regular Promontory cheese flavored with habanero. I was expecting a much spicier product, but it was buttery and had a slight heat, quite lovely and not overpowering at all.
On the bottom left is the Wenslydale cheese with cranberries. It was smooth, yet crumbly, and had a great sweet and slightly tart flavor from the cranberries. This is a cow’s milk cheese from Yorkshire.
The last of my favorites of the day (bottom right) was the Sage with Derby. Another English cheese, it is made from cheddar and adding sage leaves, it had a great herb flavor (duh) but still had the familiar mild cheddar bite.
I tried more cheeses and sampled the Sam Adams Summer Ale, the Wasatch Dopplebock Devastator and a few other local favorites like Southern Star. Again, I wasn’t so interested in the beers offered as I was to see the suggested pairings for the beer and the cheese. The crowds made the store a little hard to navigate, but was to be expected with the size of the store and the amount of people that showed up. Overall, I thought it was pretty well done, with definite room for improvement, but I was able to try some great cheese without having to commit to a big purchase. Except for the Brugges in beer, definitely bought some of that! I will attend next year, as I’m sure logistics will improve. I also got a chance to check out their beer section, a walk-through cellar. I liked the concept, their selection was small but pretty diversified. A picture of “Beer Alley” below.