Interview with Matt of BUDDAH CHEESE

NEXT WEDNESDAY, March 14th, NCBC is hosting a PAIRING BEER AND CHEESE 101 course with Philadelphia’s Matt Budenstein of BUDDAH CHEESE! 

Your ticket includes a cheese plate made up of four locally crafted cheeses, with condiments, and a flight of NCBC’s seasonal beers. We will guide you through each cheese, describing the style, the farm, the tasting notes, and the appropriate condiments. Then we will discuss which beers in front of you pair perfectly with each individual style of cheese. The goal is to be able to take your new skills home with you and set up perfect pairings for your family and friends for years to come.

Leading up to the event, we talked to Matt about his favorite fromage, his background in cheese, and much more.

Check out the interview below and GRAB YOUR TICKETS ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE!

-For those who may be unfamiliar, would you take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey, guys! I’m Matt, a long time cheesemonger, and chef in Philadelphia. I specialize in selling local cheeses from farms in our region such as Berks County, Chester County, and Lancaster County. I also have a deep love and respect for the local beer scene and have recently been exploring the amazing synergy between the two- Which brings us to our conversation today.

-When did you start Buddah Cheese, and what was the inspiration for it?

I’ve had Buddah Cheese up and running for about a year now. My inspiration for it was my deep love of cheese and my lifelong nickname Buddah! The nickname comes from my last name, Budenstein, and also from the fact like a have a nice little Buddha style beer belly.

-If it does, how do you feel that pairing beer and cheese differs from the more traditional pairing of wine and cheese?

Beer and cheese are much easier and friendly to pair than wine and cheese for a couple reasons. One reason is that experimentation is much simpler since you can buy a nice mixed pack of 6 beers for under $20 whereas one nice bottle of wine is a least that if not much if not much more. Also, the flavor profiles of beer and cheese are much friendlier than those of wine and cheese. Cheese is naturally acidic as is wine and many times this acidity argues unless you find a perfect pairing. Further, the yeast profiles of many beers complement the flavors present in cheeses very well.

-When Googling “Buddah Cheese,” certain, um, STRAINS of plants pop up. Has anyone ever confused your work with cheese for work with other substances?

I’ve definitely heard this from many people. I am currently working on a website with some SEO so that my name pops up above the other kinds of more potent “cheese” out there.

-I’m sure this is not an easy one, but what are your hands down favorite cheeses?

My favorite style of cheeses are alpine cheeses like gruyere, fontina, comte, etc. They are full of meaty, brothy, sweet umami flavor. I also love clothbound cheddars which are traditional British farmhouse cheddars that are made in huge 40lb wheels and then wrapped in cloth to preserve the rind while aging for over a year. There are some great examples of both of these styles made locally!

-Favorite Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co. beer?

My favorite Neshaminy beer is the JAWN. Not only do I love the name so much (I’ve been known to spread the term jawn to groups of friends around the country) but the beer is one of my favorite styles. I really love a nice juicy, hoppy, well-balanced ale!

-Without giving too much info away, can you give us a little preview of at least one beer and cheese that you will be pairing at your NCBC event on March 14th?

Speaking of the JAWN, I will be pairing it with a great local cheddar from Conebella Farm for our upcoming beer and cheese class. Tickets are going fast so make sure you guys grab yours ASAP!


-Thanks to Matt for taking the time to chat. See you on March 14th!

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