So, when City Weekly's Club Fed offered a free tour at the Beehive Cheese Company, we were all over it! Then, I found out that the tour was the exact same time as the FIFA World Cup USA vs UK match--I just couldn't let Lee not watch it! He went off with friends to watch the match, and I invited my good friend and fellow foodie, Sharon, to come with me.
We drove up the beautiful canyon tucked away at the mouth of Weber canyon, where the Beehive Cheese Company is located. When we arrived, we found ourselves in the company of other food lovers nibbling on some appetizers before the tour. I got to sample the creamy, piney Rosemary Promontory and the dry, flaky Aggiano Parmesan which had a tangy flavor. The Bandaged Cajun Rubbed Promontory had an initial creaminess with a delayed kick at the back of the throat.
Then, we met Tim Welsh, the co-founder of the Beehive Cheese Company. He started making cheese with his brother-in-law, Pat Ford, in 2005 after selling their dotcom business.
Tim is a foodie, so he thought it would be "cool" to start making cheese (the family thought it was crazy!). Tim and Pat collaborated with Utah State University to learn how to make cheese and wrote up a business plan. And that was it! Tim calls Beehive Cheese a "microcreamery"--small and local, employing only 16 people, mostly family.
Beehive Cheese employees--Alicia and Ollie (Tim's nephew)
We started the tour in the cheese-making room, a sanitary room filled with stainless steel vats and piping. Tim poetically juxtaposes the hectic dotcom software company to the quiet calm of making cheese at 2 am. He calls making cheese in the early morning "romantic and cool".
We then went into the cold room where the cheese was stored. It was amazing to see all that artisan cheese! Did you know that to make it an artisan cheese, it needs:
- To be made by hand,
- To be made in small batches,
- To come from milk from a single herd (Gossner Milk in Logan, UT), and
- The milk isn't standardized from season to season?
The last room we went to was the cheese-curing room, where Tim introduced us to one of their new cheeses, Butterbound. These wheels are bound in linen bandages and are covered in cultured butter and allowed to cure. The room smelled moist. Funky. Wild.
I had to have my picture taken with all this lovely cheese! The guy who took my picture, of course, said "Say cheese." Snap!
The tour ended appropriately with a few purchases for later snacking with Lee.
If you're looking for Beehive Cheese cheese, you can find it at specialty markets, like Liberty Heights and Emigration Market, and the Downtown Farmer's Market. And you can always check them out online! I think you just might enjoy this local food artisan for yourself!
P.S. We'll be having the 8th Annual Cheese and Italian Soda Party in August. If you want to come, let me or Lee know your email address so we can send you an invitation!
Here's the video City Weekly posted online. And here's a short article about the event here.