Monterey Jack (Face Rock)
Face Rock Creamery is located in Bandon, Oregon, in one of the oldest cheesemaking areas on the west coast. As early as the 1880s, cheese was being made in the many dairy farms in the Coquille Valley to the east of the town, and in 1936 the Bandon Cheese Factory was founded. The son of the factory’s founder, Brad Sinko, took over and ran it until 2003 when it was bought out by a larger competitor. Sinko then spent 10 years as the head cheesemaker Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle and New York.
While Sinko was making cheddars in Seattle, the Bandon Cheese Factory was abandoned and torn down by the company that had purchased it. Locals in the town, including developers Greg Drobot and Daniel Graham, were disappointed to see a gravel pit where the Bandon Cheese Factory once stood. Working alongside the community and the City Council, Drobot and Graham decided to rebuild a structure that would host not only a 9,000 sq. foot creamery, but also a 2,000 sq. foot well retail space and cafe. Today cheese is being made in Bandon once again in this location, and Brad Sinko has returned as head cheesemaker. The name ‘Face Rock’ refers to a local monolithic formation on the Oregon coast that resembles a face looking up at the sky.
Face Rock sources all of its milk from Scolari’s Dairy Farm in Coquille, only 15 miles from Bandon. The farm has been owned by the same family since the early 1930s, and today has a herd of Holstein and Brown Swiss cows. Sinko oversees the production of 1,000 pounds of cheese at Face Rock Creamery each day using traditional techniques.
Formed into 40-pound blocks and aged four months in a plastic coating, this is a classic Monterey Jack with a high moisture content, perfect for melting or cooking.
Face Rock Creamery’s Monterey Jack has a lactic, yogurt-y scent and a creamy, sticky texture that coats the mouth. Flavor is mild yet round, milky and slightly sweet.
This Monterey Jack’s creamy and mild flavor would make a great addition to a burger or a sandwich, perfect as a base for layering up with other flavors. For drink pairings, try it with a dry white wine.