Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A peek around Briar Rose Creamery

Here's a glimpse around Briar Rose Creamery as of Summer 2011. We're plugging away, making things happen. We've done a lot since March of 2010.

Photo by Sarah Marcus

The ribbon from the Award Ceremony at the American Cheese Society Conference in Montreal, Quebec. I am still pinching myself.

Jim manning the booth at Woodstock Farmers Market, Portland, Oregon, Summer 2011.

Jim leads the charge at our Farmers Markets. He gets all the glory, while I toil away in the cheese room. That's ok. He's good at selling our cheese and love to talk baseball to anyone who will listen.

Shawn, the guy with the goats feeding youngsters around the goat barn. Early summer 2011.
Photo by Sarah Marcus

Meet Shawn. He has the goats, mostly French Alpines and Swiss Toggenburgs. He milks them twice a day, every day. I take that rich, sweet milk and make something delicious with it.

Chelsea, assistant cheese maker getting some buckling attention. Photo by Sarah Marcus

This is Chelsea, my assistant in the cheese room and farmer's market rock star. Yes, her hair is really that color and has been that color for years. Well, it might change hue a bit from time to time, but she wears it well.

Cheese curds releasing whey and transforming into fresh chevre. Briar Rose Creamery, Summer 2011. Photo by Sarah Marcus

With this goat cheese I make fresh spreadable goat cheese in five flavors: Classic, a traditional chevre; Lemon Dill, Garlic Herb, Rosemary & Peppercorn, as well as Spicy Chipotle. I also make hand-rolled logs, chevre discs in infused olive oil, and award winning chocolate goat cheese truffles.

Tara hanging curds.
Photo by Sarah Marcus

Construction is moving along on our building. Last week we had a couple of cement pads poured around the exterior of the building. Compressors and other bits of equipment will be located on those fresh slabs of cement. We've got some special equipment being installed this week. Our air handling system is being set up and should be ready for action soon. We've got nylon socks for our air ducts and we'll have filtered air keeping our air quality nice and clean. A must for us! Keep that road dust out, thank you very much. We've been trying to get our epoxy floor put in for weeks now, but it still isn't installed. We're getting new bids this week.

Sarah stands by her work.

It might be an emotional roller coaster, with long days and sleepless nights, but I am living my dream.

A goat milk expert raises her voice:

Monday, August 08, 2011

Blue Ribbon!!!

Photo by Emiliano Lee, cheesemonger extraordinaire of Liberty Heights Fresh, Salt Lake City, Utah.

It seems I only have time to jot down a few lines when we have momentous news. The news today? We just received a blue ribbon for our Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles! We entered them into the American Cheese Society Judging and Competition being held in Montreal, Quebec. We actually had four entries, and got a ribbon for the truffles, not the cheese.

Here is a list of all of the winners at American Cheese Society cheese contest. The best in show was awarded to fellow Oregonians, Rogue Creamery for their Rogue River Blue. Their second Best-of-Show in three years! We're thrilled for David, Cary, and the entire Rogue team for their success. They make some phenomenal cheeses.

Our Chocolate Chevre Truffles were awarded 1st place in the "Fresh Goat Cheese, Flavor Added: Floral" category. When we were filling out our entry form, there wasn't a perfect fit for our truffles. Nothing that indicated sweetened cheese, confections with cheese, cheese with chocolate added, etc. We actually called the offices of the American Cheese Society to figure out the best category for our truffles. They were stumped, too. Finally we all decided that the flavor added "floral" category was the closest fit since the category also included fruit added. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans. The cocoa bean comes from a fruit, right? Close enough for us and ACS.

And now a blue ribbon!

Our truffles are still hard to get. We only sell them at our Farmers Market booth and special events and I only produce them when we have time in the cheese room to do so. We have a few retail outlets for them as well, but none have them in stock at this time. Check with them in a week or two, since we feel the need to reach out and offer them for sale.

Outlets are: Lifesource Natural Foods in Salem, Oregon, Sundance Natural Foods in Eugene, Oregon, Cheese Bar and Elephants Deli, both in Portland, Oregon.

I do not have the staff nor time to take retail mail orders, sorry. Shipping cheese or truffles in the summertime is not something I want to risk. Maybe once we're moved into our new creamery building we'll explore the possibility of shipping our truffles and cheese, but right now it isn't an option. Ah, well. If you want to try them, you'll just have to see us in person! We love that idea!