From what I can tell, a “beer & cheese walk” is a sedate version of a “beer & cheese crawl.” You walk around town from one participating pub to another, where they have prepared small plates of cheese and accompaniments paired with craft beers. Sometimes you pay for a ticket to travel from bar to bar, but, at the one we attended last weekend, each place had it’s own menu and pricing.
The recent Northampton Beer & Cheese Walk was given a surname- “Fromage A Trois,” which according to their Facebook page is “an arrangement in which local beer, regional cheese and house prepared provisions having romantic gustatory relations with each other occupy a same shared delicious downtown landscape. It is a form of ‘omnigourmand’.” (I don’t know for sure what that is, but it translates from French to “greedy omni (omniscient or omni-competent).” I think that means it’s for foodies who know all about beer, cheese, and little sides.
This all sounds a little pretentious, but I can assure you, it’s not. It’s great fun in at least 3 ways:
- It’s a chance to enjoy the bar experience even if you don’t drink (or used to drink and surrendered your privileges),
- It’s an opportunity to hang out in a pub you, perhaps, normally can’t afford,
- It’s a great excuse to talk about cheese and/or beer and sound like you know something.
The one we attended this weekend took place from 3-5pm on a Sunday afternoon in Northampton, MA. There were 4 participating bars and each one was packed with rowdy crowds (although it was hard to tell how much of the rowdiness was from the cheese or the beer, but I suppose we can guess!). Who knew that so many people would want to drink beer and eat cheese on a sunny Sunday afternoon?!
There were 4 restaurants participating- The Foundry, Northampton Brewery, The Sierra Grille & The Dirty Truth.
Three out of four of the pubs featured one cheese with one beer, but The Dirty Truth offered a wide selection of local cheeses:
It was a fun way to spend 2 hours in what happens to be one of the best college towns in the world (in my opinion) – the home of Smith College. But, it would be fun in any area where the people like craft beer and artisan cheese. We have Beer & Cheese Crawls and Beer & Cheese Walks- how about a Beer & Cheese Run where teams compete to see who can hit the most bars in one hour where they drink 4oz beers and eat 2 ounces of cheese at each one? OK, well, I’ll keep working on that one …