Pairing beer and cheese is part of FermentFirst Pairing beer and cheese is part of FermentFirst

Waikato beer and cheese

The somewhat unlikely pairing of beer and cheese will be showcased in Waikato for the second time at the end of the month.

FermentFest, 30 September is the work of hospitality promotion co-operative Waikato Food Inc, and event organiser Nathan Hartley says they’re proud to be involved. It is timed to coincide with New Zealand Cheese Month, which kicks off on 1 October, a day after the Hamilton event. Hartley says FermentFest is exactly what Waikato Food Inc is about - bringing producers to public attention and celebrating what the region offers. SKYCITY has provided the venue and entry is free. Hartley hopes people will attend to taste the products, and to meet the local artisan cheesemakers and craft brewers who are gaining a strong following nationwide. FermentFest’s cheesemakers are Waikato businesses Meyer Gouda, Cilantro and Over the Moon, and Mt eliza from the Bay of Plenty. The brewing line-up covers Good George, Croucher, Lakeman, Hopnotic, Three Fat Pigs, Shunters Yard, Brewaucracy and Raglan Brewing Co. A few tasty extras include Bellefield butter from Cambridge, Raglan Coconut Yoghurt, Volare’s spent grain bread and Peplers’ condiments. Plus handcrafted cheese boards by Dash Deller, of Raglan. There will be live music, and some live action: Hartley will demonstrate making a Cubano sandwich; Sue Arthur from Over the Moon will show how to make halloumi cheese; and Miel Meyer from Meyer Gouda will display the art of ‘cracking’ a wheel of vintage gouda. Email foodies@waikatofoodinc.com

ProMag