Promontory Apple, Walnut Smoked
Founded in 2005 by brothers-in-law Tim Welsh and Pat Ford, Beehive Cheese Co is located in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains near Unitah about half an hour north of Salt Lake City. They are one of the few artisanal cheesemakers in Utah. Having previously worked in the worlds of software and real estate, both men harbored a belief in revitalizing the concept of the local creamery. With the help of The Western Dairy Center at Utah State University, they began to turn their vision into reality, developing their creamery Jersey cow’s milk, renowned for its high butterfat content, is sourced from Wadeland Dairy, located about 10 miles from the creamery. The milk arrives from Wadeland at about midnight when it’s just a few hours old. Cheesemaking begins almost imemdiately, starting with pasteurization and the addition of starter cultures. After being left to ‘ripen’, microbial rennet is added to coagulate the milk, which is then hand cut. The excess whey is drained off and the remaining curds are “cheddared” to achieve the right moisture and pH level before being put through a mill and finally transferred into molds for pressing. After unmolding, the young cheeses are cold-smoked over English walnut shells and whole red apples. Beehive’s small batch smoker has the capacity to hold approximately 6 wheels of cheese at a time. After smoking, the cheeses are matured for a further 5-8 months before release.
The smoking process produces a sweet, light and subtle smokey flavor that enhances the rich, buttery notes of the cheese.
Promontory goes well with salami, on a chicken avocado sandwich, or anything with bacon in it. Good beverage pairings include dark ales, bourbon or a medium-bodied red wine.