Ah, the great state of Vermont—home of the Green Mountains, Ben & Jerry’s, (the best) maple syrup, Bernie Sanders (you know you Feel the Bern), and (you guessed it) amazing cheese. Not only does Vermont turn out some quality fromage, but the Freedom and Unity State also boasts the highest number of cheesemakers per capita. So it should come as no surprise that Vermont hosts a top-notch cheese extravaganza: the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival.
This veritable cheese carnival aims to introduce the public to Vermont cheesemakers and the farmers and artisan food producers behind Vermont’s specialty food scene. The event takes place on July 19, 10 a.m–4 p.m., at the bucolic Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms on the shores of Lake Champlain.
The genesis of the festival was a party Vermont Creamery‘s Allison Hopper and Bob Reese threw to celebrate the success of the state’s cheesemakers in turning Vermont into the “Napa Valley of Cheese.” Tickets are $50 per person (with free admission for peewee cheese fans 3 and under).
At the festival’s open market, you can sample and buy more than 200 cheeses supplied by 40+ cheesemakers plus partake in local beer, wine, and spirits (like Whistle Pig Farm’s award-winning rye whiskey). The festival also offers a host of workshops and demonstrations that are free with the cost of admission. These include a cheesemaker demonstration with a tour of the Farm Barn at Shelburne Farms and a tasting of Vermont blue cheeses paired with Eden Ice Ciders moderated by cheesemakers from Parish Hill Creamery, von Trapp Farmstead Cheese, and Plymouth Artisan Cheese. A “Cheese Chicks” afternoon seminar will also introduce you to some of the state’s up-and-coming female cheesemakers.
And if this isn’t enough to entice you, culture will have our own booth at the event! Stop by to meet our cheesy sister-cofounders Stephanie and Lassa Skinner and check out the latest issues of the magazine.
Get your tickets now before they sell out! And some sage words for the weekend: What happens in Vermont stays in Vermont (but nothing ever happens). Except cheese!
Feature Photo Credit: Vermont Cheesemakers Festival