Brew Cheese: A Perfect Pairing of Beer and Cheese in Northport

Connor Beach

Nestled on a corner of Woodbine Avenue in Northport Village with a beautiful view of the boats in Northport Harbor is the newly-opened Brew Cheese. The small cheese shop and beer bar offers a diverse range of food and drink options that can leave any hungry or thirsty Foodie satisfied.

The shop in Northport is the second Brew Cheese location opened by owner David Striffler, who also owns the Stony Brook location. He first opened that one in June 2015, and followed it up with the Northport location on Aug. 1.

The 32-year-old Sayville resident said the new location is a great fit for the friendly, inviting atmosphere Brew Cheese offers.

The popularity of the craft beer movement has led to beer replacing wine as the favored pairing with cheese, according to Striffler.

“I think beer pairs better with cheese than wine does anyway,” he said. “If you have a cheese board with four or five different cheeses, you can find one beer that goes with all of those cheeses really well.”

Located at 40 Woodbine Avenue in Northport, Brew Cheese has seating for 23 inside and 10 more outside. It specializes in beer and cheese, although not necessary in that order.

“I’d say the cheese is as popular, if not more popular than the beer,” Striffler said. “I don’t have people come in and treat it like a bar; they always come in and have a cheese board or a sandwich.”

The bar at Brew Cheese has eight taps, and offers more beers by the bottle or can. Beers range $5-$6 and tend to be brewed locally.

One of those local beers is brewed down the street in Northport at Sand City Brewing Co. The Sand City Close Talker is a very drinkable American IPA with a hoppy aroma and a mild taste. For those who want the traditional wine and cheese taste, The Highway Manor Blueberry Sour has a wine-like sour fruitiness that is sweet, but does not have an overpowering blueberry taste.

To start, a specially prepared Cheese Board ($18) offered a selection of three different cheeses served with crackers and a fruity fig jam that is a perfect palate cleanser between each bite.

The Cheese Board featured a smoky sheep’s milk cheese with truffle that offered a harder bite. Second, a yellow cow’s milk Gouda provided a softer, richer alternative. Lastly, a “drunken” goat’s milk cheese had been soaked in red wine had a creamy texture that paired well with the fig jam.    

The Brew Cheese Cubano ($10) is a modern take on the famous sandwich where the cheese is the star of the show. The sandwich is served hot off the press with sliced prosciutto, spicy pickles, and Red Dragon Welsh Mustard Cheddar that contains wholegrain mustard seeds. The cheese adds a unique texture to the sandwich that combines the flavor of mustard with taste and feel cheddar. The spicy pickles, combined with the salty flavor of the prosciutto, add a kick to a delicious sandwich that was never lacking in flavor.   

For those looking for something sweet to eat, the “French Toast” ($10) is a cheesy twist on a breakfast classic. A thick portion of warm cinnamon swirl toast is topped with powdered sugar and a light drizzle of maple syrup before a heap of melted French raclette cheese is scraped right off the wheel on top of the dish. The combination of syrup and cheese offers the perfect blend of sweet and savory. The crunchy exterior of the toast offers a perfect platform to enjoy the nutty flavor of the raclette.

Striffler said Northport Village and its residents have been very welcoming, and he enjoys the teaching aspect of his shop.

He said, “It’s almost like hanging out with your friends all day talking about cheese and beer.”