Owned by Gianaclis and Vern Caldwell, Pholia Farm is located near Central Point, Oregon, and is one of only a handful of goat dairies in the United States that has a herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats (that, for the record, are neither small nor Nigerian).
The farm is a model of sustainability. It is off the grid, and powered by solar and hydro-electric systems installed by Vern, a former career Marine.
The dairy herd consists of about 30 milking goats. The Caldwells initially chose Nigerian Dwarfs for a 4H project for their young daughter (due to their managable size). Several years later, Gianaclis and Vern find themselves with one of the best herds in the country. They have worked hard on improving genetics and the goats lead a happy life, listening to National Public Radio and jazz, and grazing at pasture for as much of the year as the weather permits.
Gianaclis makes cheese in a room adjacent to (but separated from) the milking parlor and the main barn. The quality of the goats' milk is outstanding and Gianclis approaches cheesemaking in a very methodical and diligent way.
Available in the summer and fall, Covered Bridge is made using Wild River Nut Brown Ale in the curd. It is named for the nearby historic Wimer Covered Bridge that was lost in 2005 and rebuilt in 2008 after a massive community collaboration.
Wheels of Covered Bridge are aged for about three months, and have a dense, slightly moist and smooth texture, with occasional holes, or "eyes." The interior paste is bone-white in color.
Flavors are creamy and mild with a bright, lactic tang and notes of earth and grass.