MouCo Cheese Company is owned by Birgit Halbreiter and Robert Poland, who met while working for the New Belgium Brewing Company. Birgit, originally from Germany, had a background in food science, while Robert was working as Fermentation Manager at the brewery. In 2000, after some experimental cheesemaking at home, Birgit enlisted the help of her father, Franz, a master cheesemaker from Germany. Today, MouCo Cheese Company produces soft cheeses using Holstein milk from nearby Morning Fresh Dairy.
Production of PepBert is much like production of MouCou’s flagship Camembert, except that a generous heaping of green peppercorns has been added into the mix. The cheesemaking process softens the peppercorns, their spiciness gradually giving way to the Camembert’s natural tanginess.
Underneath this cheese’s bloomy rind is an oozing and inviting paste, sprinkled very generously with peppercorns. While the creaminess of the cheese stands up somewhat to the peppercorns, they’re unavoidably strong and biting, providing a texture and flavor contrast with each bite. An ideal cheese for pepper snobs (“we know you’re out there,” say Birgit and Robert).
Pair it with a Merlot.