Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 713 : Beehive Cheese

Location : Uintah, Utah.

Who are the masterminds behind some of the most inventive American artisanal cheese out there?

Brothers-in-law and childhood friends, Tim Welsh and Pat Ford who both decided to eschew the "rat-race" for a simpler life of cheesemaking in 2005. Their goal was to focus on the stimulation of the local community and economy through the growth and establishment of a local creamery that would not only benefit the surrounding farmers but also the residents of the town and drive tourism to the region as well.

Beehive is one of the only artisanal creameries in Utah.

What's special about making cheese in Utah you might wonder?

Well Utah has a pretty unique ecosystem, especially in the specific place where Beehive is located -- at the entry to Weber Canyon in a valley between Wasatch Mountains known in their winter months for skiing and their summer months for the lush plentiful wildflowers.  The team behind Beehive try to infuse their cheeses with notes of the high desert climate along with the four season ecosystem. But that is not the only thing their cheeses are infused with.

Barely Buzzed, their superstar award winning cheese is rubbed with crushed lavender and coffee grounds from Tim's brother's coffee shop in Colorado. Creamy, nutty, lightly smoky and buttery yet aromatic and flavorful, this is a memorable cheese. Not in the mood for a coffee rubbed cheese? What about a tea rubbed one?

Their newest development is TeaHive, perhaps my favorite of their cheeses I have tried. It is rubbed with bergamot oil and black tea leaves. A little more in your face than Barely Buzzed in all the right sort of ways if you ask me! Tangy, floral, herbaceous, warming, comforting and aromatic, this round cheese is perfect with a light to medium bodied floral Sancerre.

Perhaps you are not in the mood for tea or coffee?

Well then your next best bet would be SeaHive which is rubbed in wildflower honey and local Redmond RealSalt. Delicate and nuanced this is an approachable yet dynamic and buttery delish snacking cheese.

Apart from these three rind rubbed cheeses, Beehive makes eight other cheeses all infused with their own unique viewpoint. That is what I love most about Beehive is that they really push the envelope of cheesemaking -- they experiment, they break out of the mold, they innovate, and inspire. Who knows where they will go next but I am excited to see! I am sure it will be somewhere great.

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