Cheese Bytes Masthead 2010
In This Issue...
Exclusive Member Discount! Beecher's Handmade Cheese
Showcase Your Cheeses to 50,000 in Denver at GABF
Win Tickets to GABF
Essays from 2012 Scholarship Recipients
Resources for Judging & Competition Entrants
Autumn Comfort Foods
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Add Events to ACM Calendar
ACM Passport Program
The Science of Artisan Cheese
Judging & Competition Updates
Exclusive Online Discount
for ACS Members 


2012 ACS Best of Show winner Beecher's Handmade Cheese is now offering its signature Flagship and previous Best of Show winner, Flagship Reserve, exclusively to ACS members at 20% off on its website. To redeem, enter Promotional Code cheesebytes2012 at checkout.


Offer expires 9/30/2012. Excludes taxes and shipping. Applies only to Flagship and Flagship Reserve cheeses.


Showcase Your Cheeses at the Great American Beer Festival!
Photo: Brewer's Association
Next month, ACS will sample our members' products to 50,000 enthusiasts, brewers, chefs, and media representatives over three days at the Great American Beer Festival (October 11-13, 2012).


Would you like to get your cheeses noticed at this event? Let us showcase your products!  


Participating cheesemakers should send approximately 8 lbs of 1-3 different cheeses for the event (pre-cubed or crumbled is preferred, but not required). ACS will prep, sample, and provide information about your cheese(s) to event attendees. 


If you would like to participate, contact Steve Binns at 720-328-2788 or [email protected]. 



Win a Pair of Tickets to the Great American Beer Festival


In celebration of American Cheese Month, ACS is giving away a pair of tickets to each session at the Great American Beer Festival, where we'll be sampling our members' cheeses to 50,000 craft beer lovers in October. If you would like to attend this event in Denver, enter the sweepstakes on the American Cheese Month Facebook page!
Essays from 2012 Conference Scholarship Recipients

ACS, in conjunction with the American Cheese Education Foundation and the John Crompton Memorial Scholarship Fund, offered 13 full or partial scholarships to the 29th Annual ACS Conference in Raleigh.

Recipients were asked to write essays about their experience at the conference; click the links below to download essays from some of this year's winners.

Nicole Bucci, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine

Rob DeMuch, Mackenzie Creamery

Rick McDonald, Central Market

Emily McGlynn, Carr Valley Cheese Co.  

Sara Kowal, Weathervane Creamery  

Allie Plettner, University of Nebraska  

Ed Puterbaugh, Boone Creek Creamery
Resources for 2012 Judging & Competition Entrants 


This week, ACS is mailing packets with scoresheets to all companies that entered the 2012 ACS Judging & Competition. Winning companies will also receive certificates for their winning cheeses. Please keep an eye out for this packet, as it includes valuable feedback about your products from our judges.  


If you are a winner of the 2012 Judging & Competition, you should also have received an email from ACS in early August with a high-resolution winners logo for your product packaging and marketing materials. If you did not receive this logo, please contact Rebecca Orozco or call the ACS office at 720-328-2788  

Autumn Comfort Foods


As temperatures drop, the ACS team is in an autumn frame of mind. We love these recipes featuring seasonal ingredients from author Sheri Castle's book, 'New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Farm Boxes." Try one of these comforting recipes for American Cheese Month!
Congratulations to Amy Thompson of Lucy's Whey!


Amy Thompson of Lucy's Whey in New York is the winner of a complimentary 2013 ACS Conference registration. Amy was randomly selected from among all of the respondents to our 2012 Post-Conference Survey. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. We'll use your feedback to improve the conference experience for our members in the future!  


We are Living in Interesting Times


A Chinese proverb admonishes, "May you live in interesting times." No matter how one might interpret such a statement, it certainly seems to apply to our industry during these last years and months. So much growth, accomplishment, and dynamic change. Cheese is certainly getting its fair share of ink these days and there is much for us to pay attention to!


We started the month by proudly announcing the names of those who passed our first Certified Cheese Professional Exam. Many thanks to those brave inaugural participants who worked so hard and who proved how deep our collective industry knowledge is. Thanks to all who worked on the exam and to those who will take it onward and upward to Madison, Wisconsin, where our second exam will be administered in 2013!


Hopefully you and your business are preparing to participate in the 2nd Annual American Cheese Month with events, special features, communications, and even the American Cheese Month Passport Program, all celebrating the center of our universe: skillfully produced American cheeses and the tireless folks who make them. The brainchild of my predecessor and current ACS Board Chair, Christine Hyatt, American Cheese Month was a rousing success last year and promises to be widely celebrated from sea-to-shining-sea!  


Partnering with the Brewers Association, ACS is once again making a big splash by kicking off American Cheese Month at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Our member cheesemakers can send cheeses for ACS to sample and promote to nearly 50,000 attendees! Check out our website for more details.  


In another reminder of the "interesting times" we live in, the topic of food safety is pervasive in the media, and we are seeing an increase in regulatory activity, as was indicated in some of our educational sessions in Raleigh. For this reason, there is no time like the present to encourage our members to bolster their food safety plans and prepare for regulatory visits throughout the supply chain. I also wish to reiterate ACS's commitment to encouraging our members to produce the highest quality cheese and hold ourselves to the highest standards. As such, ACS will continue to serve as a resource and provide stepped-up education, information, and advocacy to serve our members and, ultimately, American cheese consumers. Let us know how ACS can assist you, and also please generously share any food safety insights and suggestions that might benefit your fellow members!


Here's to a wonderful celebration of delicious, high-quality American cheese in October and all year long. "Interesting times" indeed!


Have a great American Cheese Month,


Greg O'Neill

ACS President 


It's Time to Celebrate American Cheese Month!

Nora Weiser-New Photo


October is almost here, and that means one thing: American Cheese Month. With the launch of American Cheese Month last year, over 100 events were held in more than 50 cities around the country. I hope that the second annual event this year will generate even more excitement and participation. One easy way to get involved is to take part in the American Cheese Month Passport Program.  We've made it easy by providing retailers with all the materials they need electronically, free and ready to print.  


Of course, if you're feeling creative, there are any number of ways to celebrate great American cheeses in October -- farm tours, tastings, special events, focused restaurant menus, in-store discounts -- the sky's the limit. Make sure to let ACS know which activities you have planned, so that we can include them in our web and social media updates! Looking for ideas? ACS has suggestions for all sectors of our membership to get you started!     


To make American Cheese Month matter even more, I hope you will consider donating a portion of the proceeds from any event you hold in October to the American Cheese Education (ACE) Foundation. The ACE Foundation supports educational programming for ACS members, funds scholarships that allow cheesemakers to attend our annual conference, and even helped make the Certified Cheese Professional Exam (CCP) a reality this year!  


And, speaking of CCPs, my congratulations go out to our first class of ACS CCPs  who passed the exam in Raleigh last month. Their knowledge and expertise elevate the cheese industry, and there is no better time to recognize their accomplishments than American Cheese Month. Kudos!



Nora Weiser

ACS Executive Director  


Add Your October Events to the American Cheese Month Event Calendar  


With the 2nd Annual American Cheese Month (ACM) just a few weeks away, don't forget to add your October events to the online American Cheese Month calendar.

Adding your events is easy: simply click here to post them online. If you're holding events for any audience, we encourage you to add them to the calendar!


Passport Program Grows to Include Retailers in 9 States; It's Not Too Late to Sign Your Business Up! 


This October, cheese retailers around the country are participating in the American Cheese Month Passport Program. Founded in 2011 with a group of 12 retailers based in New York City and Seattle, the program has expanded in 2012 to include 17 retailers and one restaurant in 9 states.


Designed to generate consumer enthusiasm for American cheeses, the program invites customers to purchase an American Cheese Month Passport for $10. The passport provides a special discount (ranging from 20-40% off) on a designated "Cheese of the Day" from October 1-31 at all participating businesses. Discounts and cheeses vary by location. 100% of revenue from passport sales will benefit the nonprofit American Cheese Education Foundation -- raising money for cheesemaker education and conference scholarships.


Participating passport locations, as of September 16, are:

There is no cost for businesses to participate, and it's not too late to sign up! If you're a cheese retailer, simply sign up online, and we'll email a printable passport template and signage for your store within 3 business days.  


The Science of Artisan Cheese: A Recap  


Kate Arding, co-founder of Culture Magazine, ACS Board member, and Chair of the ACS Regulatory & Academic Committee, traveled to England last month for The Science of Artisan Cheese -- a two-day conference held by the UK's Specialist Cheese Makers Association. The goal of the conference was to develop discourse between scientists, public health policy makers, and cheesemakers, and a number of sessions delved into issues of food safety and quality control. 


Kate and Gianaclis Caldwell of Pholia Farms have provided a recap of content from the sessions they attended (titles and speakers listed below) for the benefit of ACS members. Read their full recap of these sessions on the ACS website.  


  • Raw Milk Biodiversity and its Influences by Dr. Marie-Christine Montel, INRA Clermont-Ferrand
  • Microbial Diversity and Interactions by Dr. Rachel Dutton and Dr. Ben Wolfe, Harvard University
  • Achieving Control of Listeria During Artisan Cheese Production by Dr. Catherine Donnelly, Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese (VIAC) and Dr. Kiernan Jordan, Moorepark Food Research Centre
  • Influence of Yeasts on Blue Cheese Aroma Production in Stilton and Stichelton Blue Cheese by Dr. Christine Dodd and Dewi Yunita, University of Nottingham
  • Quality and Control by Ivan Larcher, Larcher Consulting; Randolph Hodgson, Neal's Yard Dairy; and Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm
  • New Tools for Cheese Producers by Dr. Mansel Griffiths, University of Guelph, Canada and Dr. Maria Pais, Fytzomius Biotech, Portugal
  • Molecular Methods for Cheese and Milk Testing by Matthew Ranieri, Cornell University and Dr. Cathy Rees, University of Nottingham
  • Risk Perception and Categorization by Professor Art Hill, University of Guelph and Professor Heather Paxson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  • Building a Working Relationship Between Scientists and Cheesemakers by Bronwen Percival, Neals Yard Dairy


News from the Judging & Competition Committee:

Gearing Up for 2013 


When I got back to my home in Portland, Oregon and settled back into life in the Pacific Northwest, "How was the conference and the cheese judging?" was the question most often asked by cheese professionals and enthusiasts. The answer was easy for me to give. All of it was fantastic. The conference had informative content, the city of Raleigh welcomed us with open arms, and the Festival along with the Cheese Sale had great turnouts.


The Judging & Competition, where I put the core of my volunteer time, was recognized as one of the smoothest yet. While this allows all of us on the J&C committee to take pride in our achievements for 2012, it also tends to make us a little nervous. When a bar is set, we all want to match or exceed it the next time around.


Our committee, just like many others in the body of ACS, has already kicked off this late summer season with conference calls and plans for sight visits to our next venue. We get out the tape measures and digital cameras to make sure the space works at the truck docks, the judging rooms, and anywhere in-between. If the logistics don't work, then we'll start figuring out fixes early to see that they do.


This is also the time of year to digest feedback from both judges and cheesemakers along with ACS members to see if improvements are needed for the next year. It turns out, when it comes to holding a competition, there is always more room for improvement. As with the all of the ACS Conference & Competition, feedback is essential.


I, and the other J&C Committee members, arrive an entire week before the conference itself gets underway. An on-time and organized receiving is essential to get things off to a good start. One of the challenges we face every year is pulling together enough extra volunteers during this early stage. We are sending out a very early Save the Date for the 2013 Conference & Competition in Madison, Wisconsin. Remember that cheesemakers can now volunteer for many of the tasks involved with the Judging & Competition. We thank you in advance, if you say yes to helping out this hard-working group that loves cheese.


We will keep you posted in the months to come with any Judging & Competition news and updates for 2013.


Tom Kooiman 

ACS Judging & Competition Committee Vice Chair


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