Results of the British Cheese Awards 2011
The results have just been announced for the 2011 British Cheese Awards with the Supreme Champion being Kilree, made by Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese from Ireland.
The hotly anticipated results of the 18th British Cheese Awards were announced last night at a sparkling event at the City Hall in Cardiff. On the eve of the Great British Cheese Festival and signalling the beginning of British Cheese Week, the great and the good of cheese making assembled to celebrate the Oscars of the dairy world, and the star of the show was a goat’s cheese from Stoneyford, County Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland.
Entries included nearly 700 vegetarian cheeses, 170 raw milk cheeses, 110 organic, 60 blue and over 40 goat and ewe’s milk creations. The judges nosed, nibbled and narrowed the field to a list of winners in 22 categories, representing the nation’s finest possible cheeseboard and declared Kilree, made by Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese the best of the best.
Knockdrinna has been making cheese since 2004 at a farm in Stoneyford Co Kilkenny. Their first creations began in the kitchen with some local cow’s milk. However, they soon became fascinated with goat’s cheese and began to use quality goat’s milk from the certified herd of Hugh Daniels, a local farmer. Hugh had only a handful of goats to begin with but as the demand for goat’s cheese was growing, so to did Hugh’s herd. He now milks over a hundred goats which Knockdrinna converts into its now widening range of goat’s cheeses.
Hugh has very strong beliefs on how goat’s milk should be produced. He believes that in our climate with such an abundance of green grass, goats should be out grazing on pastures, not fed indoors as is now common practice. Hence he is one of the few remaining goat keepers who keeps his goats out on pasture most of the year. Hugh also keeps bees and takes them to local apple orchards to help with pollination. In return he is given windfall apples which he feeds to the goats. They believe this one of the factors which makes Hugh’s goat’s milk so sweet.
In 2007 Knockdrinna introduced ewe’s milk and then 2009 diversified into whey-fed pigs and other farm products sold directly from their farm shop, giving more opportunities to integrate the farm activity with the cheese making enterprise.
Many congratulations to the winners, listed below. For a full list of the medal winners, click here
SUPREME CHAMPION: Kilree from Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese
Best English - Patrick Rance Trophy Devon Blue
Best Welsh - Dougal Campbell Trophy Teifi Farmhouse
Best Scottish Cheese - Criffel
Best Irish - Eugene Burns Trophy Kilree
Cheese Person of the Year - Stuart Dowle
Best New Cheese Retailer - No 2 Pound Street
Best British Cheeseboard - The Old Bore
Best PDO/PGI - David Reed Trophy Denhay Mature Traditional Cheddar
Best Goat Cheese - Killeen Goat
Best Organic Cheese - Loch Arthur Farmhouse
Best Fresh Cheese - Dorstone
Best Soft White Cheese - St Eadburgha Brie
Best Semi-Soft Cheese - Kilree
Best Cheddar - Quickes Trad Mild Cheddar
Best Territorial (non-Cheddar) - Crumbly Lancashire Trad
Best Modern British Cheese - Lord of the Hundred
Best Traditional British Cheese - Single Gloucester PDO
Best Creamery Cheese - Lake District Mature Cheddar
Best Blue Cheese - Barkham Blue
Best Flavour Added Cheese - Smoked Red Leicester
Best New Cheese - Federia
Best Export Cheese - Goats Cheddar