Founded in 2005 by brothers-in-law Tim Welsh and Pat Ford, Beehive Cheese Company is located at the mouth of the Weber Canyon near Uintah in UT - 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. Pat and Tim built the family owned and operated creamery from the ground up. Jersey cow’s milk, known for its high butterfat content, is sourced from Wadeland South 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 immemdiately, 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. Hand-rubbed with local honey and Redmond RealSalt®, SeaHive is a well-balanced cheese. Honey is sourced from a cherry orchard located next to dairy. The RealSalt® is harvested from the ancient (now dry) Sundance Seabed near Redmond, Utah and contains more than 50 natural trace minerals and an extremely high iron content. The salt also contains tiny flecks of color. Although Beehive tried some early experiments where they aged the cheeses in the salt mines, unfortunately, the temperatures were too warm. These days, the cheeses are matured in temperature controlled environment but still undergo a unique process. The rub is applied to the cheeses at one day of age and they are placed in special bags for aging. By three months of age, the high salt content of the cheese salt has drawn the liquid whey out. However, by 8 months the whey has all been reabsorbed.
The net result of this is that by the time the cheeses are released at about eight months, the salt and honey rub give the paste of the cheese slightly sweeter and snappier taste than Beehive’s other cheeses. Also, due to the salt application on the rind, it has a slightly drier texture.