In This Issue...
What's In A Name?
Upcoming Cheese Events
Game Day Dishes
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Retail Discounts for ACS Members
Greetings from the Icy Midwest
2014: Year of the Horse
Member Profile: Surfing Goat Dairy
News from the Member Services Desk
Featured Cheese: Di Bruno Brothers Spread
Retailer Profile: Fairfield Cheese Company
Stay Connected to ACS
What's In A Name?

Prescott from Robinson Farm, Hardwick, MA

2013 ACS Judging & Competition, 3rd place - "Open Category - Farmstead Cheeses - Hard - Made from Cow's Milk; Aged Over 60 Days - Less than 39% Moisture"


Prescott is an Alpine style cheese with nutty notes and a slight saline finish. It is aged 9-12 months.  Prescott is named after one of the 4+ towns that were lost in order to form the Quabbin Reservoir near Robinson Farm. Pamela Robinson says, "We find it is a distinctive name and the cheese, a Comt� style, has complex flavor."


Quabbin Reservoir is the primary water source for Boston.  Construction of the Quabbin Reservoir started in 1938 and was completed in 1940. The project was opposed by residents of the affected towns, who took their case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, but lost.  Prescott, as well as Dana, Enfield, and Greenwich, were disincorporated in April 1938.  Many public buildings in the towns were moved to other locations, such as the Prescott First Congregational Church, which was moved to South Hadley.  

Upcoming Cheese Events  
February 15, 2014
Dubuque, Iowa

2014 Dubuque On Ice Brewfest is sure to satisfy your palate. Guests are welcome to come sample a variety of unique craft beer, wine, craft liquor, local coffee, specialty cheeses, sausage and chocolates at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Meet one-on-one with brewmasters while sampling craft beverages, tasty treats, and enjoying live music.

Basic Cheesemakers License
April 15-18, 2014
River Falls, WI

This four-day course is designed for farmstead cheesemakers as well as apprentice cheese- makers. Sessions focus on basic steps in cheese manufacturing and provide opportunities to gain "hands-on" experience in the cheesemaking process.
Find more events, and post your own cheese events, on the ACS Event Calendar.
Game Day Dishes
The Super Bowl is just around the corner, and the ACS "hometown" Denver Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks for the championship title. To celebrate, we've found recipes that include signature ingredients from both cities.
We hope you enjoy these -- and please share photos of your own game-day dishes on Twitter and Facebook!
--Pork Green Chile from The Denver Post served with Corn Muffins with Green Chiles and Cheese from Letty's Kitchen
--Cougar Cheese Puffs with Smoked Salmon Filling from Washington State University Creamery
Cheese in the News
Sacramento a gouda location for cheese convention, Central Valley Business Times, Jan 21
Look inside Sona: DC's first cheesemaker, Washington Business Journal, Jan 21 

Not Your Grandmother's American Cheese, The Wall Street Journal, Jan 16


Making Tracks for Cheese, The New York Times, Jan 7


Member Milestones
Saputo Acquiring More Shares of Australian Cheesemaker

Wisconsin Cheese Originals Offers $2,500 Beginning Cheesemaker Scholarship


Wisconsin Artisan Cheesemaker Conference Set for January 28-29


Author says artisan cheese has come full circle in PNW 


Lovera's cheese earns top honors 


Sartori to release special Family Heirloom 36 Month Aged Parmesan cheese for 75th Anniversary 


Stillwater cheesemonger offers good stories, too 


Retail Discounts for ACS Members 


ACS members enjoy discounts on great cheeses and other purchases 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 on the map image below for a full list of participating retailers.



Greetings from the Icy Midwest!


Despite the weather extremes plaguing the entire continent, it has turned out to be a very busy month in the world of cheese, and it looks like 2014 will continue on this path!


Those fortunate enough to escape to San Francisco were treated to unnaturally warm and arid weather, but we also experienced three major industry events that celebrated and activated our community. The Good Food Awards bestowed honor on many of ACS's members and award-winner Andy Hatch of Wisconsin's Uplands Cheese delivered a powerful speech on how the passage of time is tempered by farm life, which forces the over-eager to slow down and those who wish to slow it down to pick up the pace.  Time in the cheese industry is a constant, and it keeps us all centered and grounded.  Something to think about as we wish for Winter to speed up and get all this cold out of here! You can't rush cheese.


The Fancy Food Show and another year of the ACS cheese pavilion proved to be a sold-out success, and the number of folks inquiring about Sacramento as well as our CCP Exam was truly encouraging. Kudos to our Sacramento Conference Co-Chairs, Jill, Juliana, and Lynn, as well as their planning committee, for a very successful media launch to generate interest in and coverage of our upcoming 2014 conference in California's capital city. Cheeky tee-shirts asking if we wanted to "Get Certified in the SAC" spread virally during the week to nervous chuckles and even more inquiries. They were especially noticeable at the first ever West Coast edition of the Cheesemonger Invitational (CMI) which was a helluva lotta fun and was represented by a whole host of ACS cheesemonger members who made us all proud!


Importantly for our organization, your elected ACS board met to deep-dive into the big issues facing our organization and industry for 2014 and beyond. We broke it down into five or six major strategic chunks including ACS fiscal management and investment priorities, engagement with regulatory authorities, educational priorities, the board's structure and schedule, as well as the optimal role of future conference co-chairs in the era of a self-managed organization. While the meeting lasted only one day, our conversation was robust and a lot was accomplished and set in motion. During the course of the year, I will be sure to update you on the development relative to these areas. First up is our Regulatory and Academic Committee, which is working hard as a team to interpret and address the seemingly endless stream of potential FDA policy changes that are being considered. The board and its executive committee are also working closely with our partner organizations and engaging the regulatory authorities on the big picture of what this all means, and how ACS and the cheese industry as a whole can help shape our future with our regulatory partners. This is not always easy and it sometimes can be frustrating, but we will not relent. Of course, we will keep you posted with any developments -- and we will continue to develop our Best Practices for Cheesemakers with an eye toward being the very best we can be in providing cheese of highest quality, made with this highest safety standards. 


What can you do as we begin the new year? Proactively take a look at your operation, whether you are a producer, distributor, or retailer, to determine how your company can raise the bar in terms of safety, sanitation, and procedures. Need assistance or resources to tackle this? Reach out to ACS and we will do our best to steer you to them.


2014 is going to be an active year in cheese, but I am confident that we have the talent, energy and resources to collectively take ACS to new heights! Wishing you water where you need it, and warmth where you don't have it! 




Greg O'Neill


2014: Year of the Horse


Nora Weiser in Scarf

The Chinese New Year begins on January 31. This will be the Year of the Horse, and for ACS, we will need all of our members' horsepower to drive us forward. This year, my attention is more focused on education than ever before. Education is the central part of our mission, and will be key for us to help you stay on the forefront of regulatory changes and food safety best practices. To that end, our Regulatory & Academic Committee is pushing forward efforts to develop a Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers. We plan to share this with members at the 2014 Conference in Sacramento, and plans are for a similar guide for retailers to follow thereafter. In addition, news has been coming to us about growing scrutiny of a number of traditional cheesemaking methods and areas where regulatory change could greatly impact our members: the 60-day aging rule for raw milk cheeses, aging on wood surfaces, soft-ripened cheeses, enhanced inspections at retail, and more. I ask our members to please continue to let ACS know of issues that you see arising locally and regionally so that we can keep abreast of what is happening on the ground. Feel free to email me to share items, news, and concerns.


Offering valuable educational opportunities and keeping our members abreast of important issues is part of ACS's stewardship of the cheese industry. I will be speaking at the United States Association of Cider Makers conference next week on the topic of stewardship, and this leads me to reflect on how this applies to our industry. Stewardship can be defined as the care, protection, and advancement of something valuable -- an industry, a business, an association, a product, and all of the resources that support it. Cheesemakers have a variety of different approaches to their work, their products, and their businesses. By embracing a shared responsibility as good industry stewards, commonalities can outweigh differences and strengthen the industry as a whole. Good stewardship translates into good business, and has played a role in the growth of the artisan cheese industry. But there are also challenges that come with success -- and increased regulatory scrutiny of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese may be among those challenges. Joint efforts across all facets of our industry are the key to stewardship during these changing times. ACS strives to be a big tent, and in 2014 I hope all of our members feel welcome in this tent. I hope we can work together toward a common goal of continuing to create and share great cheese with the public.




Nora Weiser

Executive Director

Member Profile: Surfing Goat Dairy


While the majority of us are in the depths of the cold, dark winter, and dreaming of warm, sunny escapes, ACS's only Hawaiian member is enjoying the season. Surfing Goat Dairy, located in Kula, HI, continues to be as busy as ever during the winter: enjoying the benefits of being in a tourist location, while also working around the difficulties of being a dairy on an island where drought has hit hard.


Surfing Goat Dairy was started 14 years ago by husband-wife team Thomas and Eva Kafsack. Before moving to Hawaii, Thomas owned one of Germany's biggest software companies and Eva was a high school teacher. Thomas and Eva lived on the island of Sylt, off the coast of Germany in the North Sea, where there was a goat dairy that had a herd of around 150 Saanens. The goats grazed on pastures that gave an incredible flavor to the cheese. When Thomas and Eva moved to Hawaii, they decided "if we cannot find anything like that, then we have to do it ourselves," says Thomas. And Surfing Goat Dairy was born.


Thomas' and Eva's original plan was to build a bed and breakfast in Hawaii and to have the goat dairy as more of an attraction. They were lucky to buy 42 acres of prime land on Maui when prices were at a low point. Since they weren't able to build the bed and breakfast immediately, they set up their goat dairy first. Eva worked on goat farms in Germany, Austria, and France, learning the craft. Since Surfing Goat Diary opened, they have had double-digit growth most years, and the idea of a bed and breakfast fell to the wayside...  [continue reading]

From the Member Services Desk


Each month, in this feature, you'll learn about a great ACS benefit available to members. Be sure to get the most out of your ACS membership by taking advantage of these valuable, educational, and money-saving benefits. 


ACS has partnered with the American Dairy Science Association to offer you a special e-membership rate of $55 to the ADSA. The ADSA is an international association of scientists, educators, and dairy industry representatives. Its vision is to be the premier scientific society for dairy education and technological advancement. The ADSA's Journal of Dairy Science� was ranked 2nd of 55 journals in Thomson Reuters' Agriculture, Dairy, and Animal Science category for the 2011 Impact Factor. Benefits of ADSA membership include electronic access to the Journal of Dairy Science�, access to Joint Annual Meeting symposia from 2003-2013, access to searchable Joint Annual Meeting abstracts from 1998-2009, and the opportunity to subscribe to S-PAC� (Searchable Proceedings of Animal Conferences) at the ADSA member rate of $75.


To become a member of the ADSA, please contact the ACS office at 720-328-2788 to receive an ADSA partner code.

Featured Cheese: Di Bruno Brothers Cheddar & Horseradish with Bacon


By Marcella Wright, ACS CCP™


With the Super Bowl right around the corner, I thought I would profile a Cheese Spread that I found on Hilton Head Island when I was there last month.


In the early 1930's Danny and Joe Di Bruno immigrated to America looking for streets paved with gold. They found cobblestones, but they brought with them the willingness to work hard and in 1939, the two brothers opened a grocery market on 9th Street in Philadelphia's Italian Market. Their success and their entrepreneurial spirit spurred them to re-invent their shop into a gourmet cheese shop in 1965. They added some of the great European cheeses, cured meats and other foods that paired well with cheese and meat. In 1990, the brothers retired and turned the family business over to three of their grandchildren, Billy Jr., Bill, and Emilio; three cousins with college and culinary degrees. In 2006, Di Bruno Brothers was named NASFT "Gourmet Retailer of the Year" and in 2013, with Tenaya Darlington, they published "Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes and Pairings." (I have it on my Kindle and refer to it at least once a day.) You can buy the book at


The three cousins continued to expand their brand and part of that expansion included creating lines of gourmet food stuffs -- and one of those is cheese spreads. The flavor I found at Hilton Head Island is made with cheddar cheese, horseradish and bacon... lots of horseradish... [continue reading]

Retailer Profile: Fairfield Cheese Company


Co-owners, Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, carry 75-100 cheeses at Fairfield Cheese Company in Fairfield, CT. Their shop has a mix of approximately 50% American cheeses and 50% international cheeses. Chris' current favorite cheese is Pawlet Reserve from Consider Bardwell Farm, and for Laura it's Oma from Von Trapp Farmstead Cheese. Laura recommends using Oma on Tartiflette. She's a huge fan of the classic Savoie dish with potatoes, bacon, and Reblochon. In addition, Laura says, "Since it's winter, I've been eating a lot of Alpine-style cheeses and have discovered how well they go with white wines. I particularly love a good fondue with Rousette, a white from the French Alps."


A cheese that Fairfield Cheese Company just started to carry is Up in Smoke from Rivers Edge Chevre in Oregon. Laura says, "I love how creamy, fluffy, and smooth it is; and it has a perfect amount of smokiness." Up in Smoke isn't found on the East Coast often, and so it's a rare and special cheese for customers of Fairfield Cheese Company.... [continue reading]

Connect to ACS

Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@CheeseSociety), or LinkedIn. Get the latest updates from the cheese community, connect with fellow cheesemakers, retailers and enthusiasts, and tell us what's happening in your world.