Is there a better-named cheese out there to pair with wine? Not sure, but it would also pair with a porter-style beer. The way this cheese became named “Barely Buzzed” is as cool as the Utah-based creamery itself: They asked their fans to name it for them. A woman named Andrea from California came up with the rather creative moniker. Not sure how it ties into the flavors but, hey, it’s memorable.
Beehive Cheese Company was founded in 2005 by two brothers-in-law, Tim Welsh and Pat Ford, who left software development and real estate to experience life at a slower pace in cheesemaking. By 2007, they were winning cheese awards. Impressive. The brothers buy their whole Jersey cow from Ogden’s Wadeland South Dairy, 350 acres near the Great Salt Lake.
This full-bodied, cheddar-style, cow’s milk cheese is rubbed with a Turkish grind of South American, Central American, and Indonesian coffee beans as well as some aromatic lavender buds. The result is a dark, flaky crust of off-putting color but slice through that (definitely eat the rind) and you’ll find a deliciously creamy, butterscotch, toasted cinnamon, slightly bitter nuttiness unlike anything you might have tasted. It’s seriously good and don’t just take my word for it: It’s won First Place in the Flavored Cheddar category at the prestigious American Cheese Society Competition three years in a row.
I paired this cheese with a full-bodied Italian Zinfandel at a wine class and it went together like peanut butter and jelly, Fred and Ginger, or Beavis and Butthead (take your pick). Basically, really well.
It sells in the $15-$20 per pound range and might be a tad tough to find but Beehive makes it easier on us: Here’s a listing of where it’s sold.