With a buoyant, springy paste encased in the palest of orange rinds, this cheese—at once mild, mellow, sweet, and malty—was inspired by its makers' love for beer and cheese pairing, and is the result of some fun experimentation with a Scotch ale.
Founded in 2005 by Matt Day and Ryan Trail, Mt Townsend Creamery is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend, Washington. Inspired by the Olympic Peninsula’s rich dairy history, the duo 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, which delivers milk directly.
To make Off Kilter, Mt Townsend cheesemakers pasteurize and coagulate the milk, cut it into curds, and then heat and stir the curds before they're transferred to cheese molds to drain. After unmolding, the young cheeses are brined and then transferred to a drying room where they’re left overnight. They are then moved to an aging room where they remain for a few weeks, washed regularly with a solution of Scotch ale.
Off Kilter has a semi-soft texture, dotted with small “eyes” or holes, remeniscent of a French-style tomme. The interior paste is a pale straw color while the exterior rind is a delicate pale pink-beige. Flavors and the aroma are gently earthy, lactic and barnyardy, with a slight tang on the finish.
Pair it with the beer it's washed in: Kilt Lifter from Pike Brewing Company.