Vermont Cheese Council e-Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 2, August 2009

Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival Set For August 23rd

With over 40 cheesemakers (the highest number per capita), Vermont is the premium artisan cheese state. We invite you to the Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival where you can experience our passion for making fine cheeses, taste local, fresh foods, and meet the artisans responsible for it all. Buy, learn, and network, but most of all, celebrate the bounty of the season in the historic Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms along the beautiful shores of Lake Champlain. Space is limited to 1,000 - so purchase your tickets today!

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival Aug. 23rd, 2009
  • 50 Cheesemakers
  • 20 Wineries and Breweries
  • 15 Artisan Food Producers
  • 4 Tasting Seminars
  • 2 Cooking Shows
  • Over 100 cheeses to sample
  • Exclusive Tasting Dinner at The Inn at Shelburne Farms
Please see the festival brochure for the schedule.

Please visit to purchase tickets and to find out more about the festival!

This event is being organized by Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, Vermont Cheese Council and Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese.

Press Attending the Event:

Bon Appetit
Times Magazine
Fine Cooking
Eating Well
Culture Magazine
AOL Food
7 Days
Vermont Life
O The Oprah Magazine
Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Vermont Cheesemakers Win Big At the
American Cheese Society Competition

Vermont Cheesemakers once again shined at the American Cheese Society annual meeting bringing home 32 ribbons and Third Place for Best of Show from the Austin, Texas competition held on August 7, 2009.  There were 1,327 entries in the cheese competition and to achieve a blue ribbon in this competition is a great honor and a marketing bonanza. Vermont cheeses and butters garnered 13 blue ribbons, 12 red ribbons and 7 white ribbons. Consider Bardwell Farm in Pawlet, Vermont was awarded Third Place for Best of Show, for their Rupert washed rind cheese.

Vermont received more blue ribbons than ever this year! The state was shy of most overall ribbons, but received the most 1st place ribbons. Vermont was almost perfectly honored: ribbons were earned by 15 of the 17 companies who had product in the competition. See the results of how Vermont Cheesemakers did in the competition.

Vermont was also represented with a judge for this competition. There were 28 judges, 14 for aesthetics and 14 for technical merit of the cheeses and butter. Marc Druart was a technical judge from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese located at the University of Vermont.

See the entire results of the competition at the American Cheese Society web site.

If you are interested in how Vermont has placed in the past check out the following chart that shows Vermont’s successes over the past nine years.

North American Regional Jersey Cheese Awards

We have some winners!
The North American Regional Jersey Cheese Awards were open to cheeses and butters made in Canada and the United States from 100% Jersey milk. See the list of Vermont winners.

Cheese Events

Vermont Brewers Festival

Several great events have taken place this spring and summer that have highlighted some of Vermont’s best cheeses. In July, the Cheese Council hosted a beer and cheese pairing at the annual Vermont Brewers Festival in Burlington, VT. The session, organized by Calley Hastings and Ruth Miller, was well received by an audience of over one hundred guests.

For our General Beer and Cheese Pairing Guide and a list of recommended local cheese and beer pairings, see our festival handout.

Vermont Fresh Network Annual Forum

On August 9th, the Vermont Cheese Council attended the Vermont Fresh Network Annual Forum. This evening event offered educational workshops, a reception with hors d’oeuvres, a keynote presenter, a walk-around dinner featuring the best chef and farm partnerships and an ice cream bash. Vermont Cheese Council members in attendence were: Dancing Cow Farmstead, Fat Toad Farm, Jasper Hill, Ploughgate Creamery, Shelburne Farms, Taylor Farm, Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, and Woodcock Farm. The event attracts around 500 guests each year and is a culinary delight. Make sure to attend next year if you couldn’t make it this time!

Upcoming 2009 Vermont Cheese Council Calendar of Events

August 23rd
Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival
Shelburnes Farm, VT

September 12th
Plymouth Cheese Festival
Plymouth Notch, VT

September 18th - October 4th
The Big E
West Springfield, MA

September 20th
Flynn Center Wine and Food Festival
Burlington, VT

September 25th - 27th
Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival
Mount Snow, Wilmington, VT

October 2nd-4th
Hildene Meadows Craft Fair
Manchester, VT

October 3rd
Cheese and Apple Tasting
Old Stonehouse Museum, Brownington, VT

October 9th - 12th
Stowe Foliage Festival
Stowe, VT

Cheese News

New Vermont Cheese Council Coordinator
Calley Hastings was hired this summer as the new part-time VCC Coordinator. Calley grew up in Brookfield, VT where she now runs Fat Toad Farm goat dairy with four other family members. Before starting the farm, Calley received a degree in Agriculture and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. She taught an alternative agriculture program at Lamoille Union High School and spent many years in the food industry. She has also worked for other organizations including Shelburne Farms and Food Works to promote food education in Vermont. She is excited to join this amazing network of people who are committed to sustainable agriculture and love good food!

Vermont Cheese Trail
Vermont Cheese Trail Map ThumbnailThe new Vermont Cheese Trail Map has just been printed! Brochures will be available at the VT Cheesemaker’s Festival but if you would like some before then or will not be attending the event please send a request to

Franklin Foods

Franklin Foods has launched a new brand called "Green Mountain Farms" featuring dips and spreads, for food service, retail and club stores.

Franklin Food's Green Mountain Farms cheese label

Cabot Creamery

Cabot Creamery Cooperative introduces two new flavors in their hand-rubbed Cheddar line.  For their insatiable fans of spicy cheese, there is a Buffalo Wing Cheddar bar sure to make eyes water and a Tiki Masala Cheddar bar that fans of Indian spices will adore.  Joining the Tuscan and Chili-Lime hand-rubbed Cheddar 8 oz bars, these delicious additions were a big hit when test-marketed in the 3 Cabot Vermont stores.

Cabot's Tiki Masala Cheddar and Buffalo Wing Cheddar Cheeses

Maplebrook Farm

Maplebrook Farm, makers of handmade artisan Italian-style cheeses, has recently completed a major expansion of their Bennington plant.  Owners Johann Englert and Michael Scheps announced the completion in mid-July.

The expansion allows Maplebrook Farm to receive milk from Vermont farmers and turn it into Italian-style cheeses.  Receiving milk at the plant creates efficiency and helps support local dairy farmers at both ends of the process.  Maplebrook Farm uses the milk to produce their award-winning mozzarella, smoked mozzarella and ricotta.  The unused whey is then shipped back out to farmers who use it for animal feed.

Maplebrook Farm has doubled their employees since the new facility came on line, bringing jobs to southern Vermont.  More positions will follow, as the production capabilities will enable Maplebrook Farm to expand their product line.

Englert and Scheps joined forces in 2003, making small batches of mozzarella for gourmet shops in Boston.  Based on the overwhelming response, they purchased the current plant in 2005 and their products can now be found in shops, coops and supermarkets throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.  For more information, visit

Vermont Water Buffalo Moving to Canada

Frank Abballe, owner of Vermont Water Buffalo, is relocating his 600-head herd to a farm in Quebec, 15 minutes north of the border. His move comes a little more than a year after Abballe purchased the 18.5-acre ranch and expanded the business to include not just fresh buffalo mozzarella, but meats as well. The Vermont Water Buffalo was the site of the first water buffalo farmstead creamery in the United States and has had the largest and the best quality milking herd of water buffalo in North America.

Learn to Make Cheese with the Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese

Interested in learning how to make cheese? Ready to brush up on your technical skills? The Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese  (also known as VIAC) provides education, technical support, and sensory evaluation to increase knowledge and expansion of artisan cheese. Please visit their website for upcoming classes.

Become a Friend or Associate Member of the
Vermont Cheese Council

As a Friend of the Vermont Cheese Council, we welcome your donations to assist us with our endeavors to improve the production and advancement of Vermont cheese. Your generous support helps us to continue to grow and expand our technical support for members, while providing you with delicious Vermont cheese. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a friend of the Council or sign up now!

As an Associate Member of the Vermont Cheese Council, we welcome all industry related businesses and individuals who see the value in having a strong cheese industry in Vermont. Learn more about the benefits of an Associate Membership on our web site.

For more information, you may contact our main office at: (866) 261-8595 or visit

This newsletter can also be viewed on our website.