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ARTISANS

Harper and Blohm Cheese Shop

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Tell us your story. 
Harper & Blohm is a cheese shop in Melbourne’s western suburb of Essendon. Its owner, Olivia Sutton, who’s also a veteran of the Calendar Cheese Company and Ireland’s Sheridans Cheesemongers, sells a range of cheeses from Australia, the UK, Europe and the USA. She also pops up often at farmers’ markets across the city, selling melted raclette and grilled cheese sandwiches in addition.
As a cheesemonger (not a maker) she won’t be exhibiting at Mould, but she will be there with lots of cheesey edibles like the aforementioned raclette and grilled cheese sandwiches. We caught up with her prior to the event.
Harper & Blohm is one of Melbourne’s leading cheese shops and has been supplying the locals with some of the finest farmhouse and artisan cheeses from Australia, the UK, Europe and the USA since 2014.
I work closely with suppliers to choose and source the best available products, often from small producers, including a range of selected cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy of London. The purposefully small and ever-changing choice of cheese ensures consistent quality, whilst the variety depends on the seasons, with expert advice on hand to assist you with your purchase.
My tiny shop also carries a distinctly local range of charcuterie, biscuits & accompaniments for your kitchen pantry, and Tivoli Road Bakery bread is available on Saturdays.
In the winter of 2016 we started our Raclette & Grilled Cheese Sandwich stall with Victorian Farmers Markets where we showcase some of the fantastic local products that we have available to us in Victoria.

Hard or Soft?
Soft!

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Oh sooooo many! Raw milk Normandy Camembert on a baguette with a Normandy farmhouse cider (under a tree in France). Or Colston Bassett Stilton and La Sirene Praline (chocolate stout). Also required is a cold rainy day and an open fire.

Bruny Island Beer Co.

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It’s not just cheese that Bruny Island is known for. Nick Haddow of Bruny Island Cheese Co. also runs a beer business, with brewer Evan Hunter (formerly of Tasmanian stalwarts Seven Sheds, Moo Brew and Lark Distillery). Learn a bit about Bruny Island Beer Co. below.

Tell us your story!
Bruny Island Beer Co. started with a conversation between a cheesemaker and a brewer. Nick Haddow and Evan Hunter designed the brewery around a shared enthusiasm for fermentation and regionally distinctive, artisan produce. The brewery was built behind the cheesery in Great Bay, Bruny Island and our first beer was released in February 2016.

The unique brewhouse has been built to Evan’s specifications using recycled dairy equipment sourced from local farms. While we maximise the quality and consistency of our products with a mix of old and modern technology, we practise a simple approach to brewing – one that harks back to older methods of making and maturing beer. We brew slow beer in small batches, and lift, tip and stir everything by hand, knowing that quality is only attainable through determination and hard work.

Try it at Mould Cheese Festival.

Bruny Island Cheese Co.

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Nick Haddow has been making cheese for a really long time. He started out in the early 90s at Milawa Cheese Co and Meredith Dairy in Victoria, under the guidance of Will Studd and Richard Thomas. He then spent the next decade working with cheesemakers in Europe (including London’s Neal’s Yard Dairy) after being awarded a Queen’s Trust Grant to do so.

In 2003, he set up Bruny Island Cheese Co. on the island of the same name in Tasmania, and has been making cow milk cheeses there ever since.  He’s heavily involved in Mould Cheese Festival, so we thought you might like to learn a thing or two about him ahead of the day.

Tell us your story! 
Bruny Island Cheese Co. is an artisan cheese maker in southern Tasmania, founded by Nick Haddow. Our cheeses are all made and matured using traditional techniques and are some of the finest artisan cheeses made in Australia.

The cheeses Bruny Island Cheese Co. makes are very much the product of Nick’s travels and training throughout the great cheese producing regions of France, Italy, Spain and the UK. They are the cheeses he loves to make and eat. Nick and his team are inspired by the artisan cheeses from their travels but they do not seek to copy them. Instead, they makes cheeses that are connected to their environment… cheeses with a distinctly Tasmanian character.

Tell us something about your style of cheese and what makes them unique?
We were the first producers of a Raw Cow’s milk cheese in Australia.

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
Q. What did the cheese say to itself in the mirror?
A. Halloumi

Hard or Soft?
Soft!

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Saint + our Whey Stout

Stone and Wood Brewing Company

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Stone & Wood is by three boys – Brad, Jamie and Ross – who, sick of “working for the man”, decided to go out on their own. They established the company in 2008 and built their first brewery in Byron Bay, followed up with a second (due to demand!) in Murwillumbah in 2014.

Wine is often the go-to for cheese, but beer is just as good. Perhaps it’s even better. Especially S&C’s Green Coast Lager, which it’ll be selling at Mould Cheese Festival. See for yourself.

Tell us your story!
Born and raised in Byron Bay, we take a fresh approach to brewing handcrafted beer in the Northern Rivers of NSW, one of the greatest places on earth. Our brewing philosophy at Stone & Wood is based on brewing beer that makes the most of the ingredients available today. Beer that simply lets the flavours and aromas of the ingredients shine through by keeping the processes to a minimum. Beer that is simply good to drink.

Tell us something about your brew and what makes it unique?

  1. Subtle hops
  2. Full malt
  3. Soft, clean finish

Green Coast has a light amber colour with a natural yeast cloud, and a flavour that strikes a balance between its subtle hop aroma and full malt palate, finishing soft and clean. Something so fine, yet so complex requires quality ingredients, attention to detail and finesse to produce.

Napoleone Cider

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If you haven’t paired cheese and cider, then you basically haven’t lived. And because we won’t settle for anything less than the best, we’ve enlisted Napoleone Cider to be involved with Mould Cheese Festival. It’s all about apples and pears grown in the Yarra Valley, produced in regular small batches on site using 100% fruit juice, by brewers with winemaking backgrounds. BAM!

Tell us your story!
The Napoleone family are third generation fruit growers who originally began as orchardists back in the 1940s. It’s been a family owned business since 1948, and is now run by brothers Joe and Michael Jr Napoleone. In 1987, the Napoleone vineyard was planted in Coldstream and 2001 saw the inaugural vintage of Punt Road Wines. 2008 then saw the creation of Napoleone Cider which has gone on to win a slew of awards including Best Cider in 2014 for their Pear Methode Traditionalle Cider. The family shows no signs of slowing with Joe’s sons now even working in the family business, manning the brewery and cider house cellar door on weekends.

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Napoleone Cider with any of the cheeses down the road at the Yarra Valley Dairy.

Meredith Dairy

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Meredith Dairy in Meredith, Victoria, is an on-farm enterprise, milking sheep and goats all year round to make specialty cheeses and yoghurts that are sold throughout Australia and exported around the world.

Up until 1990, farming at Meredith focused on beef, prime lamb and wool production. In the 1990s, the reserve price for wool was discontinued and the wool industry collapsed. Alternative farming systems were needed to stay viable, irrespective of global commodity pricing. Owners Sandy and Julie Cameron researched sheep and goat milk production and cheesemaking along with animal husbandry and within two years a factory was built on the farm.

Sandy (a qualified veterinarian who received his doctorate in philosophy in 1985) started milking his sheep and started a breeding program to increase milk production in the herd. Julie Cameron quit her nursing job, bought a book on cheesemaking and started making speciality cheese and natural yoghurt. All they really wanted to do was to be farmers.

Almost 30 years later, the business is still in the family and has pivoted to mainly goat’s cheese (they have a herd of 12,000 goats). They still have a herd of about 3,500 sheep, and make natural sheep’s milk yoghurt.

Sandy and Julie make sure they have time for “farming leisure”, but they both have important responsibilities in the daily running of the business. Sandy manages much of the daily operations on the farm and in the factory.  Julie is the brand gate keeper of Meredith Dairy, and she drives a lot of innovation and sustainability throughout the business.

Soft goat’s cheeses and pot-set yoghurts are made on the farm from the freshest milk, produced according to leading standards of environment management and animal husbandry. The “golden jar”, marinated goat’s cheese, is what they are best known for.

Meredith Dairy
106 Cameron Rd, Meredith VIC
03 5286 2000

Shaw River Buffalo Cheese

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They took out the People’s Choice competition in 2017, they’ve won actual real life awards for their cheese, and they’re just downright delicious! Get to know the family behind Shaw River Buffalo Cheese here.

Tell us your story!
Australia’s first herd of milking buffalo was imported by Roger, Suzanne and Clyde Haldane in 1995 from Italy and Bulgaria. In 1996 we began milking and producing cheese from the buffalo’s delicious milk, introducing fresh buffalo mozzarella and buffalo yoghurt to the Australian market for the first time and developing a range of unique semi-hard cheeses.

Just 66 buffalo formed our foundation herd, but we now have over 500 purebred milking buffalo that roam free range, grazing the lush pastures on the banks of the Shaw River.

Shaw River is very much a family affair. Roger and Suzanne Haldane run the business together with their daughters Thea and Amy, and son Ewan. Our farming practices draw from the slow food philosophy embodying Roger and Suzanne’s desire to live a simple holistic lifestyle.

We milk our buffalo just once a day and use low impact farming methods without the use of pesticides and antibiotics. Our products are handmade, staying true to traditional cheese making techniques.

Our Farmhouse cheese factory and buffalo dairy are located at Yambuk, at the end of the Great Ocean Road in South West Victoria.

Tell us about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?

  • We produce buffalo mozzarella, buffalo yoghurt and a unique range of semi-hard buffalo milk cheese.
  • We use ONLY !! 100% buffalo milk from our own herd of animals.
  • Our mozzarella is hand-stretched and pinched, creating a cheese with a beautiful meaty texture.
  • Our flagship cheese Annie Baxter is loosely based on a pecorino/romano-style cheese, and named after one of our region’s early settlers. It aged in our factory for 12 months and has become a favourite amongst cheese lovers. Annie Baxter Special Reserve is our newest edition to our range – The Annie is sent for ageing at Stone and Crow Cheese where it develops a beautiful, natural rind and a more earthy flavour. It was state winner in the delicious. produce awards, and is already a permanent fixture on the menu of the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong.
  • Our natural yoghurt is thick and creamy with a delicate flavour and curd-like texture.
  • Buffalo milk is naturally sweet and less tart than other natural yoghurts.

Hard or Soft?
Both!

Robe Dairy

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Tell Us Your Story!
“The little dairy that could” according to Flavour Crusader. We are a two person, twenty cow operation, a husband-and-wife team, with a passion for making farmhouse cheese. We make soft, French-style cheeses that don’t shy away from flavour, character and seasonal variation.
When we’re not messing with cheese, or selling whatever milk is left over as bottled milk or yoghurt, we spend time with family and nip to the beach. Our little farm is near Long Beach on South Australia’s Limestone Coast.

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
We do everything ourselves on the farm, just the two of us, from milking our little herd of Jerseys to making cheese.
We make soft surface-ripened cheeses that are fragile, aromatic and highly perishable. The kind of cheese that is easy to eat but hard to manage.
We never want to be big. Lifestyle and family come first.

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
Did you hear about the explosion at the cheese factory? There was de brie everywhere!

Hard or Soft?
Soft

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Local sparkling wine with Robe Dairy St Clair of course. Even better with fresh local crayfish on the side…

Funniest cheese making experience?
We had to throw a failed batch of brie to the pigs. There’s something awful but funny about hurling 2.5kg wheels of cheese into the paddock like frisbees.

Milawa Cheese Company

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Milawa Cheese Company in the King Valley is a family-owned business committed to producing world-class farmhouse cheeses. We asked Ceridwen Brown, current Milawa CEO and daughter of founders David and Anne Brown, to tell us all about it.

Tell us the Milawa Cheese story?

Mum and Dad set up Milawa Cheese Company back in 1988, which meant moving from inner city Melbourne to a small country town (Milawa) at the foothills of the Victorian Alps, right at the mouth of the King Valley. The culture shock was real… especially for a primary school kid that liked to dress like Punky Brewster. It was not what the country kids were into!

Growing up in a family-run business means you get to know every part of it, and it’s often all that gets spoken about around the family dinner table. Even before I left Milawa to go to uni in the ‘big smoke’, I’d worked in every part of it. But still, I went to uni, graduating with a very versatile Arts degree (majoring in Classic and Archaeology?!), before spreading my wings and heading to Europe for the obligatory year in London.  Although, for me, it ended up being five years, as I landed a job at the famous Neal’s Yard Dairy in the iconic Borough Market.  It was a pleasure working closely with other completely cheese-obsessed people from all over the world.

The fun had to stop eventually, so I came home to the family business.  I’ve been back in Australia now for almost nine years and have taken on the role of CEO (wrested from Dad’s hands) in the last 12 months.  It’s an exciting time – this is our 30th birthday year, and I hope that I can carry the mantel for another 30 years.

My brother, Gareth, is the black sheep of the family – he went out and got a “real job”, killing it at KPMG! I do manage to drag him and his wife Erin to some of the fun cheese shows, though – they were stars at Melbourne’s MOULD. The final member of the family is my fur baby Bella – she helps reduce my stress levels by sitting at my feet in the office and letting me know when it’s time to go and get the mail or just enjoy the sunshine.

What’s the farm actually like?

Milawa is an absolutely beautiful part of the world. In winter, you can see the snow-capped mountains in the distance and the grass is emerald green.  We get all the seasons here – during winter that means icy overnight temperatures which more often than not turn into beautiful clear crisp days. Spring see the leaves returning to the trees and longer afternoons to enjoy the glorious sunshine.  Summer is perfect for heading to the swimming hole at the local creek, or heading up towards Bright to cool down a bit, and autumn is just magic, the turning of the leaves is stunning.

Our place is in a 100+-year-old red brick butter factory that we have repurposed for our cheesemaking. It’s got a tasting room and shop where you can try all of our cheeses for free. We also have onsite a community of businesses including Milawa Bread (awesome hand-crafted sourdough), Milawa Kitchen (for delicious French fare), the Wood Park Wines cellar door, Off Centre Art Gallery and Studio and also the Walnut Tree Collection Gift Shop. In wider Milawa, there’s also Brown Brothers Wines at the other end of town, and there’s mustards, honey and olives as well.

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
  1. We have a range of hard and soft cheeses made from goat and cow’s milk. Our cheeses have European regional origin but have taken on a unique, Australian flavour. We don’t know for sure but we’d bet that your average Frenchie would choke on their pinot if they heard mention of a camembert made with goat’s milk.
  2. Milawa Cheese was one of the first companies in Australia to commercially produce European farmhouse style cheeses.
  3. Our Ceridwen (a round of goat’s cheese, rolled in ash and matured with a white mould) was named after me. Dad – David Brown – said it was as “Delightful and pure as his little girl.” Nawwww!
Do you have a favourite cheese pun?

We’re all about the classics, so the Fab Four’s “Speaking words of wisdom, let it brie, let it brie”

Hard or Soft?

Getting softer with age

Best cheese and booze match ever?

We are loving beer, and the High Country has amazing breweries. Our King River Gold Washed Rind with a big dark beer – Stomping Ground Brewery’s Hanging Rauch is a good one. Both have lovely campfire smoke and bacon notes. Yum.

Funniest cheese making experience?

Years ago we had a series of interns sent to us by a French cheesemaking school. This young lady was one of the first and we perhaps overestimated her knowledge… She was asked to turn on the cow’s milk vat so that we could begin making camembert and she did so. As production began, our cheesemakers were a bit confused at how pale that season’s cow’s milk was. So after months of maturation we cut open one of these camemberts and discovered that we’d produced our first batch of GOAT CAMEMBERT! A product we still produce, thanks to our favourite French intern!

Where can we buy your cheese?

We have released a retail-ready set-weight range of cheeses that you can hopefully find in your local IGA (or even some Coles). We have distributors all along the eastern seaboard, so if you have a good cheese shop near you they should be able to get our cheese but you might need to ask them to get it for you.  As I continue to develop our business I hope to get to an online store, but you might just have to wait for that one…

 

MILAWA CHEESE CO.
17 Factory Road, Milawa VIC

milawacheese.com.au

The Stone and Crow Cheese Company

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Tell Us Your Story!
I have been making cheese for almost 20 years and have made cheese all around the world. I started my own business almost 2 years ago to create an avenue for me to do something different. Apart of this was to create a maturing room where other Australian Cheese makers could mature their cheese.
I love working with other producers to create awesome things with cheese. An example of this is a cheese I make in collaboration with Four Pillars Gin. Yes the cheese tastes like four Pillars.

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
Sure its about location and the milk I use to make the cheese. But just as important is the way you mature cheese. I love to really focus on the maturation to create unique cheeses.

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
No Whey

Hard or Soft?
Hard

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Its hard to put your finger on the best ever because there has been so many. So the latest one I experienced was when I was doing an event with the Beer Diva and we matched: Wild Ravens Purple Plum Beer with my Night Walker Cheese.

Funniest cheese making experience?
Hiking with a group of mates. They said you bring the cheese. I had a 10kg wheel in my pack. You should have seen the look on the faces of other hikers as they saw us cutting a piece of cheese of this wheel. We shared it with everyone.