Beer, Cheese And One Incredible Experience At Carlsbad’s New Rouleur Brewing CompanyArts & Culture We went behind the scenes before this weekend's grand opening!
Rouleur Brewing Company is tucked away in an industrial nook of warehouses in Carlsbad alongside neighbor Wise Guy Brewery. The sun is going down and the door has opened, welcoming us in to taste the debut professional batch of owner and brewmaster Rawley Macias’ beers.
The tables inside are spread with an array of cheeses and perfectly tooth-picked Wild Boar Salumi from local Angel’s Salumi & Truffles. Black and white cycling photos from The Horton Collection printed on metal hang across from a Masi bicycle above our heads.
And then there’s the dynamic wheel wall, an entire modern-art mechanism made of wheels, gears and one overall connecting chain that Rawley has created himself.
In his previous life, Rawley was a mechanical engineer who worked in aerospace. He’s been home brewing for 12 years now and on Saturday April 8th, he’ll host the grand opening to his eagerly anticipated Rouleur Brewing Company.
“I want people to sit with people they don’t know and strike up a conversation,” he says, nodding to the family style tables as he pours us two The Domestique blonde ales, “I want it to be an intimate place where you come and have a conversation, some beers, some fine cheeses.”
He considers his beers somewhat of a hybrid based upon his own tastes — Belgian-like brews with a bit of funk to them. They’re scientific but subtle.
We take a seat next to the window across from Mike and Jenny Eastwood, the owners of Smallgoods Cheese & Provisions who have worked alongside Rawley to artfully curate all of the artisan American cheeses for the event.
We take the first sip of our beer. It’s smooth with a soft malt backbone, reminiscent of grain and honey. We follow it with a bite of our cheese, Mixed Drum from Twig Farm — rustic and savory.
“That cheese isn’t on the list,” Mike says with a smile and an Australian accent while the mixture fills our mouths and moves through our senses.
Around the table, people chat about how beer and cheese is a better pairing than wine and cheese — less stuffy and with more room for conversation.
Jenny is a Certified Cheese Professional powerhouse, and she talks passionately about getting her start interning in the cheese caves at the infamous Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York City.
“Cheese is extraordinary with beer,” she says, “the effervescence of the beer lifts up the heaviness of the cheese.”
And her words couldn’t be more spot on.
American cheese has come along way, following alongside the craft beer scene like two peas in a culinary pod. At Rouleur’s, Rawley has worked to bring these two concepts to the forefront, encouraging visitors to take part in the experience of what it tastes like to pair top notch beer with artisan cheeses.
“It’s not a brewery for nachos and popcorn,” he jokes, “although I do love nachos and popcorn.”
In French rouleur means having wheels. On a cycling team, a Rouleur is a rider equipped to take on anything. They are said to be savvy, precise, and have the ability to win any race — from the most romantic one-day Classics to the Grand Tours.
And the unique romance of cycling and beer, and beer and cheese, is what the brewery works to convey.
We taste The Grimpeur next, a malt heavy beer balanced with a chocolate meets caramel meets mocha flavor.
“This cheese will hold up to any stout,” Mike tells us as we place a moist chunk of Cave Man Blue from Rogue Creamery into our mouths. It melts alongside a sip of The Grimpeur.
We take a slice of Largo from Adante Dairy in Petaluma, California next on our bite sized wooden spoons. It’s an aged triple cream cheese, a rare French cheese that is soft, nutty, and smooth on the tongue.
It was created by cheesemaker Soyoung Scanlan, a classically trained musician with a degree in food science. All of her cheese is named after musical terms, and has been celebrated for years in her deep relationship with Thomas Keller’s restaurant group and The French Laundry.
“It’s old meets new,” Rawley says of the brewery towards the end of the evening, “classic styles done a bit differently.”
We exit out the warehouse door shortly thereafter into the cool Carlsbad night air with a mind filled with knowledge, inspiration — and a deeper love and understanding for the craft of artfully brewed beer and its partnership with fine cheeses.
To get a true taste of what Rawley Macias is bringing to Carlsbad, attend Rouleur’s grand opening this Saturday, April 8th for an all-day celebration complete with live music, food trucks, and lots of beer.