Chow Town

Soft cheese’s rind is washed in brine that includes a Minnesota brown ale

Good Thunder from Mankato, Minn
Good Thunder from Mankato, Minn

October is American Cheese Month. The American Cheese Society says, “American Cheese Month is a celebration of North America’s delicious and diverse cheeses, and the farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers and chefs who bring them to your table.”

So I thought I would bring a different cheese to Chow Town readers every day in October. Stay tuned to see what delicious cheeses North America has to offer! There are sure to be some classic favorites and new must-haves that will suit everyone’s tastes.

Good Thunder

Producer: Alemar Cheese Company

Place: Mankato, Minn.

Milk: Cow

Type: Soft, washed-rind

Good Thunder has to be one of the greats when it comes to cheese names. It is named after a small town near Mankato, Minnesota. The cheese is washed in a brine that includes a Bender beer from Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis.

Bender is an oatmeal brown ale that has notes of coffee, cocoa, caramel and cream. As the cheese is washed over a period of weeks the flavors begin to develop and the aroma becomes stinky.

The flavors are meaty, yeasty and milky. The texture is dense and creamy when young but as it ages the cheese becomes soft and pudding-like.

Good Thunder is great on German pumpernickel bread with a little whole grain mustard and a spread of Mark and Stephen’s Caramelized Onion Apple Jelly. The flavors come together to make something perfect for a fall cheese plate.

While Good Thunder is a stinker its flavors are often more delicate than its smell. So don’t be afraid of this gem from Minnesota.

Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society certified cheese professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar in Prairie Village. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbooks and on Instagram @lincycheese.