Cheese Bytes Masthead 2010
In This Issue...
ACS Conference Haiku
Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Goes Green
Upcoming Events
Hotel Rooms in Madison
WI Cheesemaker Pub Crawl
Traveling with Cheese
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Register for ACS 2013
Retail Discount Program
Retailer Profile: The Vin Bin
Volunteer in Madison
Scholarship Winners
ACS is on Tumblr!

ACS Conference Haiku

This summer we get

"In a Dairy State of Mind"--

Madison bound!


Upon the waters

of Lake Monona, we shall

meet and eat great cheese.


Through education,

tours, tastings, events, we shall discover great cheese.


Judges will taste, score,

and evaluate; we shall

celebrate great cheese.


At the bar we grow

our network of friends, who shall raise a glass to cheese.


Each year we gather

to support and promote great

American cheese.


Hope to see you in Madison!


Nora Weiser

Executive Director  


ACS Member Profile:
Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Goes Green   


Approximately 7 years ago, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese of Waterloo, Wisconsin, decided to "go green" and partnered with Clear Horizon of Milwaukee to build an anaerobic digestion system at the Crave Brothers farm. Crave Brothers thought the system would be a good way to generate green energy and eliminate methane gas at the same time.


The anaerobic digestion system works via two large 700,000 gallon enclosed tanks that hold the waste from the farm and cheese factory. The waste is heated to 105�, the ideal temperature for maximum microbial activity. One of the results of the microbial activity is methane gas, which is highly combustible. The methane gas powers the engine that turns the turbine, which in turn...[click to continue reading]


Coming Soon! Upcoming Cheese Events  

The Village UnCorked! Wine, Art and Cheese Festival
July 6, 2013
Winter Park, CO

A fun family event in The Village at Winter Park Resort with over 50 different wines as well as local artists and some amazing cheeses from several locations. Shop in The Village stores and purchase some local art. Eat some cheese and be as merry as a mouse!

Slow Food! Cheese
September 20, 2013
Bra, Italy

This is the international biennial event organized by the City of Bra and Slow Food. Dedicated to "milk in all its shapes and forms," it has created an international network of cheesemakers and artisans who gather in Bra every two years to present their products, meet co-producers and consumers, discuss the challenges of the trade and market prospects and share solutions to problems.

Find more events, and post your events, on our Event Calendar.

Hotel Rooms in Madison


Hotel rooms in Madison are still available for the ACS Conference. If you are in need of lodging, we encourage you to contact the following hotel, which is located within walking distance of Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center:

Best Western Inn on the Park



If you need additional lodging recommendations, please contact the ACS office at 720-328-2788. 


Join Us for the Wisconsin Cheesemaker Pub Crawl!  


Join hundreds of ACS members on July 31 in Madison (from 7 - 10 PM) for the Wisconsin Cheesemaker Pub Crawl! Grab your Pub Crawl Cap (included in the $10 registration fee) and visit six local pubs, where your hosts will be eighteen award-winning Wisconsin cheesemakers -- among them  Myron Olson, Joe Widmer, Andy Hatch, Marieke Pentermen, Katie Hedrich, Sid cook, Mike Matucheski, and many more. Try their cheeses, enjoy libations, and catch up with fellow ACS members!


If you haven't registered for the ACS Conference yet, simply select the Pub Crawl during the online registration process. If you have already registered, please call the ACS office at 720-328-2788 to add the Pub Crawl to your registration.


Traveling with Cheese   

With the ACS Conference (and our Cheese Sale) just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about how to bring some of your favorite cheeses home from Madison. All ACS Conference attendees will receive an insulated tote bag, which helps to keep cheeses cool during transport. This article offers some additional tips that will make it even easier to get your cheese finds home in great shape:
Don't forget to check out the Transportation Security Administration's guidelines on Traveling with Food or Gifts. Make sure you understand the rules for checked luggage and carry-on bags before you fill them up with pieces of cheese...and avoid cheese spreads and dips altogether if you hope to make it through security with cheese in-hand!

Image: Dieter Roth's suitcases full of cheese, ca. 1970, from

Cheese in the News
A Milestone Summer for Cheese!


June is a wonderful time for our industry, as it shows us at our very best. With farmers' markets in full force, pasture-fed animals grazing for nutrient-rich cud, and customers foraging the cheese case for the finest flavors of the season, it is a time when American-produced cheese shines! Just this past weekend, Ken and I got back to the farm to help produce fresh chevre and rub elbows with energetic kids and the dedicated folks who work tirelessly to support retailers and consumers with top quality product. On top of all this, we are preparing for the Summer Fancy Food Show which returns to NYC next week after a several year hiatus. And, most importantly, we are gearing up for what promises to be a memorable 30th Anniversary Conference in Madison, as we shift into a "Dairy State of Mind"!


It has also been a very busy spring for our industry, and I want to let you know that -- in our ongoing commitment to engage with federal regulatory authorities and affiliated industry -- ACS participated on May 22 in a day-long meeting with FDA/USDA/CDC in Washington, DC on their Interagency Risk Assessment-L. monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens. I am pleased to say that I had the opportunity to personally represent ACS at the meeting, and it was clear from the active listening and warm reception after our prepared comments that ACS is working its way towards establishing a "place at the table" with our regulatory partners. This great work was started some years back by my predecessors, and it is clear that we must remain visible, constructive, and persistent in order to build the bridges necessary to help craft our industry's future. There were some helpful and insightful presentations made at the meeting, and ACS will post those to our website soon for you to check out.

At the meeting, ACS was also informed by FDA that we will receive a formal response to our Federal Register comments on the Joint FDA/Health Canada Quantitative Assessment of the Risk of Listeriosis from Soft-Ripened Cheese Consumption in the U.S. and Canada in the not-so-distant future. We will keep you posted. In the meantime, see this issue of CheeseBytes for a look at the official comments made by ACS at the May 22 meeting. The deadline to make a public comment on the draft risk assessment on Listeriosis in retail delis is June 24. Your input matters and makes a difference to our industry, so we encourage you to comment!

Now, it's off to the Summer Fancy Food Show, and then it is just a few short weeks until our 30th Anniversary Conference, featuring a record number of cheese entries, almost 200 Certified Cheese Professional Exam takers, and what looks to be one of the strongest turnouts for an ACS conference in many moons. The program, the setting, and our hosts are all amazing, and I wish to thank the hard work of Nora Weiser's team and our dedicated co-chairs, Jeanne Carpenter, Sara Hill, and Bob Wills! There are still hotel rooms available, and we can accommodate plenty of people in our educational sessions, so be sure to join us for a piece of cheese history as we ponder and debate what lies ahead for ACS in the next thirty years.

Enjoy the warmth and sunshine, and see you all soon.


Greg O'Neill

Register Today! Regular Conference Registration Ends June 26  


Regular registration for ACS 30th Anniversary: In a Dairy State of Mind, the 2013 ACS Conference, ends on Wednesday, June 26. Register now before registration rates increase by $100. We're expecting record attendance at this milestone event, and there's still plenty of room in our incredible educational sessions. Plus, you won't want to miss our great conference tours and special events! Visit our website for a Schedule-at-a-Glance and other valuable conference information.



$595 member / $794 non-member



$695 member / $894 non-member




Retail Discounts for ACS Members 


ACS members enjoy discounts on great cheeses at participating retailers via the ACS Retail Discount Program! This program allows you to receive discounts of 10-20% simply by presenting a valid ACS membership card at check-out. Click the map below for a full list of participating retailers in the U.S. and Canada.


*If your business would like to participate in the ACS Member Discount Program, please contact Jana Hemphill at [email protected] or 720-328-2788.


Retailer Profile: The Vin Bin in Marlborough & Hopkinton, MA


The Vin Bin has two locations, one in Marlborough, MA and another recently opened location in Hopkinton, MA. The owners, Rick and Julie Lombardi, travel locally and internationally each year to find the latest and greatest cheeses to fill their cheese counter. They have over 200 types of cheese in both stores. The cheesemongers at the Vin Bin are always available to help you pair your cheeses with their vast selection of wines, craft beers, and locally made spirits.


In addition, there is a gourmet caf� at the Marlborough location, run by the owner's son, Chef Mike Lombardi. The caf� offers panini, soups, salads, and homemade grab-and-go dinner items. Favorite items include the French Connection, which features smoked agave ham, Brie de Meaux, granny smith apples, and honey mustard, and Grandma's Meatball, which includes handmade meatballs, San Marzano tomatoes, provolone, pecorino, and basil.


The Vin Bin offers free beer and wine tastings each week, plus seasonal events such as their Memorial Day Barbecue, an annual Grand Tasting in September, and wine dinners with local restaurants. This fall, they are starting the Vin Bin Academy, a series of workshops where customers can learn about wine, wine regions, spirits, cheeses, and food pairings. Right now, the team at The Vin Bin is loving Arpeggio from Robinson Farms in Hardwick, MA. This buttery, tangy, and fruity Tallegio-style cheese is perfect on a piece of crusty bread, or licked straight off your fingers.


Store hours at the Marlborough location are Mon-Fri, 10 am - 9 pm; Sat, 9 am - 9 pm; and Sun, noon - 6 pm. Store hours at the Hopkinton location are Mon-Sat, 10 am - 9 pm; and Sun, noon - 6 pm. Visit to learn more.


The Vin Bin

91 Main St.

Marlborough, MA 01752

(508) 480-9463


22 South St.

Hopkinton, MA 01748

(508) 435-9463


Offering an ACS Member Discount: 20% off cheese purchases

We Need Your Help! ACS Seeks Volunteers in Madison

ACS relies on countless volunteers to help our annual Conference & Competition run smoothly, and our 30th Anniversary events in Madison are no exception. We are still in need of volunteer support, and we hope you'll consider spending a few hours behind the scenes with us!


Our volunteers generously share their time and talents, and receive great rewards: 

  • A complimentary ticket to the Festival of Cheese on August 3 ($55 value) 
  • The official 2013 ACS volunteer t-shirt

Volunteers from all areas of the industry -- and the general public -- are needed from July 25 - August 4. Sign up to volunteer today!  


2013 John Crompton Scholarship Award Winners

The John Crompton Memorial Scholarship Committee was very impressed with the caliber of the 34 solid applicants who applied for the 2013 John Crompton Memorial Scholarship for Retailers. We thank each and every one of them for their resumes and creative essays. Members of the committee take on the responsibility of reading every application and filling out a rating sheet for each one. At our annual meeting, hosted by Seacrest Foods International in Lynn, MA, we had a chance to discuss all of the candidates and come to an agreement on the scholarship winners.


Applicants came from across the country this year, with women outnumbering men. Many new and small retailers were represented, which we took to be a good sign of the health of our industry. We noted many "change of career" folks, coming from previous jobs in the legal and business fields -- unimaginable just a few years ago. We were struck again by how our industry has changed. To see all of these talented and passionate folks choosing to make a career as a cheesemonger is something we could not have imagined when we were starting out in this business with John Crompton many years ago. It is very gratifying for us to see the scope of knowledge, experience, and commitment that is out there in the retail world today.


We are proud to announce the winners of the 2013 John Crompton Scholarship:

  • Alicia Baldwin from Edina, MN has been working with cheese for 8 years. She is currently the Senior Cheesemonger at Lund's/Byerly's.
  • Ann Duckett of Rochester, NY has owned The Little Bleu Cheese Shop in Rochester for 2 years.
  • Tracy Kellner has been the owner of Provenance Food & Wine in Chicago, IL for 6 years.
  • Beth Lewand opened her retail store, Eastern District, in Brooklyn, NY 4 years ago.
  • Patrick Schroeder has been the Cheese Coordinator at the Williamson Street Grocery Coop in Middleton, WI for 2 years.

Congratulations to them all!


John Crompton was a pioneer in the New England cheese community back when it was still figuring out what the heck was going on with all this "gourmet" cheese. John loved cheese, loved people, and really loved selling. If he could have one of his retail customers taste a new cheese and buy it, he was a happy man. While he was not the most sophisticated guy in the cheese business, very few of us could match his enthusiasm, knowledge, and energy when it came to selling cheese.


We lost John too early, and those of us who loved him were determined to keep his memory alive by establishing this scholarship fund for new members of the cheese community. To us, he will always be "Johnny Cheese" and we look forward to awarding these scholarships each year. The committee looks forward to meeting you all in Madison!


Linda Luke

Chair, John Crompton Memorial Scholarship Committee  



ACS is on Tumblr!  


ACS has launched a new Tumblr page, where we are sharing 2013 Conference news and updates, along with great cheese-centric features. Check out the latest posts on the page, including the ACS Judging & Competition "Category Countdown" leading up to our events in Madison, and a Q&A with author Laura Werlin!

If you aren't already following ACS on Tumblr, simply click below and select the "Follow" link on the top of the page. You won't want to miss any of our posts leading up to, and during, our 30th Anniversary Conference!

Connect to ACS

Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@CheeseSociety), Tumblr, or
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