Founded in 2005 by Matt Day and Ryan Trail, Mt Townsend Creamery is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend, Washington.
Having had a successful tenure at the New Belgium Brewery as a process engineer, Trail had become interested in cheesemaking. Together with his friend Day, Trail began experimenting with in his kitchen and soon thereafter, the two enrolled for a cheesemaking class at Washington State University. From there, they hooked up with fellow co-founder Will O’Connell who had been trying to establish a farmstead creamery, and the three joined together to get Mt Townsend Creamery up and running. After two years O'Connell decided to pursue other interests and Trail and Day assumed full management of the creamery with Ryan focused on cheese production and creamery infrastructure and Matt managing marketing and sales.
Inspired by the Olympic Peninsula’s rich dairy history, Mt Townsend produces a variety of cheeses from Brown Swiss and Holstein cow’s milk. Mt Townsend has partnered with Maple View Farm, a dairy located 30 miles from the creamery. The dairy delivers milk directly to the creamery and Mt Townsend has a close working relationship with the farm.
Created with a view to being an accessible “everyday” cheese, New Moon has developed a considerable local following. The cheese is made using a rennet based production and a cooked curd process. After pasteurization, the milk is cultured and rennet added to coagulate the milk. The curd is cut and stirred and then heated again to a higher temperature in order to expel additional moisture. At this stage the whey is drained off and the remaining curd is salted, transferred into molds and pressed overnight. The following morning, the young cheeses are unmolded and transferred to a maturing room where they remain for between one to three weeks before release. The cheese has little or no rind formation but the indentations of the cheese cloth are evident in the pale ivory-colored surface.
The texture of New Moon is smooth, dense and semi-soft. Flavors are rich and mild, tasting of cultured butter with a pleasantly sour note on the finish.