Cheese News and Events June 2012

* The Portland Beer and Cheese Fest is coming Sunday June 17th to the Commons Brewery, 1810 SE 10th Ave. in Portland. Tickets are $25, and for that very reasonable price you get to sample up to 10 different beer and cheese pairings. The festival runs from 1-6pm. For more info see their Facebook page, and tickets can be purchased here. * Kurt Timmermeister of Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island near Seattle will be debuting his Dinah's cheese at Beecher's in New York City Wednesday June 6th. This is a special ticket-only event and attendees will receive a wheel of Dinah's as well as a wine and cheese pairing. Tickets are $40. For more info and to purchase tickets click here.

* Little Brown Farm on Whidbey Island, also in the Puget Sound area, just completed a successful campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds to build a cheese cave and develop cheesemaking classes at their farm. This is the first time I've seen a cheesemaker use a contemporary social media/funding platform like Kickstarter. Very creative and innovative - kudos to Vicki Brown, self styled "Chief Milkmaid" at the farm. Will this be a new trend in artisan cheesemaking? Stay tuned.

* It's June and Farmers Markets everywhere are in full swing. Stop by and say hello to the friendly cheesemakers at your area market and get some great locally produced cheese.

* If you're planning ahead, the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival will return to Whistler, British Columbia on August 18th, 2012. This is the event where people throw themselves down a fairly steep hill chasing a wheel of cheese in the manner of the good folks at Gloucestershire in the UK....good times! Here's some video of last year's event.

* Murray's Cheese recently began rolling out its store-within-a-store concept in partnership with Kroger stores in the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, the Burlingame Fred Meyer (photo above) just debuted the first of three planned Murray's installations; the other two will be at Freddie's Hawthorne and Hollywood locations. In Seattle, Murray's has already debuted at several QFC stores in Seattle including the University Village location, and aims to be open in seven stores by year's end. While I have mixed feelings about this, as the saying goes, "a rising tide floats all boats."

Beecher's Handmade Cheese to Expand to NYC in 2011


Beechers Handmade Cheese Seattle

It's official - Beecher's Handmade Cheese will be opening a new store in New York City in 2011. The concept will be similar to the current operation at Seattle's Pike Place Market (pictured above) - a combination cheese factory, cheese shop and food marketplace. According to an article in the Seattle Times, Kurt Dammeier, Beecher's proprietor, sees the huge population base of Manhattan as a prime marketing opportunity for Beecher's cheeses as well as its other products (such as the frozen macaroni and cheese, crackers and etc.). I've no doubt that even jaded New Yorkers will be captivated by the open viewing format and the play-by-play cheesemaking action - there's just something about it that draws you in and makes you want to eat (and buy) cheese.

Look for the shop to open in February of 2011. See the full article in the Seattle Times here.