The Beer: Ninkasi Spring Reign Ale, seasonal release. Purchased at a NW Portland supermarket - I can't remember which one (we average 1.0 supermarket visits/day, so it's hard to keep track). Price: I wanna say $5-ish/750ml.
This is a great beer, although Ninkasi's label blurbs: "refreshing seasonal ale" and "great session beer" (I'm paraphrasing) are a little optimistic. In typical Ninkasi style, this is a very hoppy beer. It's basically an IPA style, but it's more floral and less syrupy/malty than some of their standard hop bombs. I love pretty much everything they do and this is no exception. What a great addition to the Oregon beer scene. My wife even drank this one, and she generally doesn't like hoppy beers (booo).
I finally got back to see Steve after way too long of an absence, living off of plastic-wrapped supermarket cheese and the occasional discarded bread crust. I immediately asked about the Valentine in the case, because the Adele was so badass. This one is 100% sheep's milk, while the Adele is a blend of sheep and cow. Steve explained that they are seasonal, which makes sense, and is all the more reason to tank up on them during the spring. Also, like the Adele, it's the perfect size for 2-3 people to take down as part of a nutritious happy hour.
I cut the rind lid off for easy access with butter knives. Here is the autopsy shot:
What a great cheese! This one is about a month old, and has ripened into a runny, salty, tangy pool with a dumpling of creamy,fresher sheep cheese in the middle.
The pairing was fine, but nothing to go crazy about. The hoppiness and tanginess seemed to stand up well to each other, so the beer didn't overwhelm the cheese and vice versa, so nothing to complain about.