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Minnesota Association of County Officers annual conference

Updated: Jun 24




Hello! Thank you for following the QR trail! Here is the map of our trail:


This is our second time bringing you great cheeses and tons of education, we sure hope you have enjoyed and plan on visiting and purchasing from the presented producers! To the right is a photo of my family in South Africa. From left to right: Jon (our Son), Me and Mike


The cheeses are listed in order of tasting. Each point contains a link to the producers website. From there, you will find producers who ship or offer a "where to buy" option.

  1. Hoard's Sark, a triple cream Butterkase

  2. Beehive Seahive Cheddar

  3. Marieke 1000 Day Gouda

  4. Redhead Barbarian and Little Lucy

  5. Alemar Fillamaloo



Let's recap the cheeses we tried today!


In the heart of America’s Dairyland, the green rolling hills surrounding the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm create a near perfect backdrop for a special herd of Guernsey cows.

Forged from a vision and built on the passion of pioneering publisher and former Governor of Wisconsin W.D. Hoard, Hoard's Dairy was established in 1899 and went on to change dairy farming across the land forever.

Today, descendants of Hoard’s original Guernsey cows continue to call the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm their home, and they continue to produce the extraordinary milk that makes our very special cheese.


Creamy, buttery, mild, and versatile are words that quickly come to mind when describing our Sark butterkäse cheese. Named for the English channel island of Sark, this golden delight has as its origin the alpine region of Germany and Switzerland, but it knows no borders today. 

Our rich Guernsey milk gives this mild cheese a near decadent melt-in-your-mouth creaminess. Did we say versatile? This cheese will improve just about anything it touches, from soups, omelets, pastas and steamed vegetables, to sauces and sandwiches, to your next charcuterie board. Some old-world cooks even add it to their strudel. As Sark gets older, it’s able to be spread when it reaches room temperature, opening up another world of possibilities. 

 

The Ford and Welsh families had a dream to build a creamery in the community they love. And they did just that at the mouth of Weber Canyon in a valley between the forested Wasatch Mountains in Ogden, Utah.

With help from the Western Dairy Center at Utah State University and Big D Construction, they opened their doors and filled their first tiny vat in 2005 . A lean budget steered them to equipment that had more cheesemaking experience than they did at the time!

Over the last 18 years the creamery has grown, and newer equipment introduced.

Seahive is a true expression of the flavors of Utah. Sweet and creamy, they rub the rind of this Utah cheddar with local wildflower honey and ancient salt. Yes, ancient salt. The salt is harvested from a pristine ocean deposit in Redmond, Utah. This gives Seahive its signature pinkish hue.



 

Alemar Cheese is what happens when imagination, research, work and patience converge to create something incredible.



Since its founding in 2008, the Alemar Cheese Company has become one of the most out-of-the-park success stories to emerge from Southern Minnesota – small-batch cheeses, originally produced in the small Minnesota town of Mankato, that made their way up through the artisan cheese circuit and into fine restaurants, cheese shops and stores worldwide.

The Alemar Cheese story begins with founder Keith Adams, a native of Davis, California. Inspired in part by a California friend who had made a name for himself as a winemaker, Keith began looking much closer at what had been a casual interest – artisan cheesemaking. As he researched, he sought out specific individuals to advise and mentor his entry into the craft. He credits Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery in California as most influential.

Using gently pasteurized milk from grass-fed cows at a farm 40 miles away, Keith in 2008 launched Alemar (named for his daughters Alexandra and Mariel) and its sole product, the Camembert-inspired Bent River. The luscious soft cheese impressed critics, writers, and customers with its rich, full-figured flavor, and Keith soon found the product welcomed in specialty cheese shops first locally, then from coast to coast.

Three years into production, he entered Bent River in the nation’s largest artisan cheese competition, run annually by the American Cheese Society, and came in third place for cow’s milk Camembert-style cheese, prompting food critic Dara Moskowitz-Grumdahl to write: “It’s like starting to throw javelins one day, and coming home with an Olympic bronze two years later; it’s unheard of.”

A few years following Bent River’s success, Keith began incrementally adding more products to the Alemar “family,” each one noted for a special punch and preparation. Alemar’s early additions were creamy Blue Earth Brie and funky Good Thunder. Today, the Alemar lineup features eight products, the newest being St. James, Boom Island, and Apricity. These products are all made with grass-fed cows’ milk, a belief Alemar has had since its founding. Great milk makes great cheese. Our farmers, CorStar Farms, are a small family with a herd of about 20 gorgeous cows that they treat like family. The lifespan of these cows is not only much comfier and more humane, it is also years longer than average dairy cows.

“I wanted to focus on one cheese for a good long while and become really proficient at it,” Keith says. “Once I felt that core competency… then I felt like it was time to try something new.” Keith’s adventures in cheesemaking have led him back to California, where he and winemaker Rob Hunter (the friend who inspired Keith’s creation of Alemar) have launched William Cofield Cheesemakers, specializing in the cornerstones of British Inspired Cheese Cheddar and Stilton-style.

In July of that same year, 2019, Alemar Cheese received an opportunity too good to resist. FOOD BUILDING in Northeast Minneapolis had an empty state-of-the—art creamery, and Alemar needed more space. The Twin Cities have been Alemar’s first and loudest supporters for ten years, making moving production a natural fit. Incredible things happen within this skillful community. Working in FOOD BUILDING provides Alemar’s cheesemakers with something truly unique: a space to share with other talented artisans. The building houses Baker’s Field Flour and Bread, Lowry Hill Provisions, 3LECHE, and Kieran’s Kitchen, a market that sells and celebrates the fine food products made in our home building.

In 2021, Keith and Kieran Folliard (Food Building founder) brought on Head Cheesemaker Charlotte Serino.

Charlotte is quite simply upping Alemar’s game. She graduated from UW-Madison in Wisconsin, went on to study food science and she has extensive experience making and selling artisan cheese. She’s mongered at a local favorite gourmet grocery store (Lund’s and Byerly’s) and a Multi-National (Whole Foods Market). Charlotte also has farmstead experience making many varieties of Goat’s milk cheeses prior to joining the Alemar Team. Her precision and thoughtfulness brings new light to Alemar’s production.

The Twin Cities has now been home to Alemar for almost 5 years and has fostered great collaboration and a plethora of new cheese experiments. Charlotte and the Alemar team strive to make the finest cheese in Minnesota with grass-fed cows’ milk from just around the corner.



 


Redhead Creamery in Brooten MN, south of Sauk Center. Absolute must visit!! Alise started this "Redheads Dream" when she was quite young. she made her first cheeses in 2014. They are a fantastic farm family. Jer-Lindy Farm is run by Alise's parents, Jerry and Linda. The farm provides all of the milk for the Creamery and both are on the same site, which makes it a Farmstead Creamery. They are also in the process of producing clear spirits from the whey that is the by-product of the cheesemaking process. Onsite, they offer farm tours and there is a bistro where you can get delicious eats and local wine an beer and buy the cheeses. Soon they will have a tasting room for the whey spirits.









 







The story of Marieke is super amazing and will make you want to go to the production facility!!! It is in Thorp WI, easy day trip. Here is the story(again, I am not above copy and paste, creds to the original) : Marieke's Story



 We can't say enough good things about this producer, their mission and the product. It all is simply glorious! Please read the link , you will be in love too. Marieke's facility in Thorp Wisconsin is a fantastic weekend destination! It is a Farmstead Creamery which means they have the farm with the cows on the same site as the creamery. The Creamery has viewing windows so you can watch the cheese being made and the aging rooms. Cafe' Dutchess is located within and serves up some lovely ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches and other cheese-centric delights! Marieke Gouda is one of our top domestic and international award winners in the US, she is a force to be reckoned with!! Marieke is a licensed Cheesemaker, she is projected to become a Master Cheesemaker in 2025




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