Open Creamery Day

Open Creamery Day Sunday October 11th, 2015

The Maine Cheese Guild presents

Open Creamery Day 2015

on Sunday, October 11th from 11am to 3pm (unless ***otherwise noted*** below).

As the hardwood foliage bursts in a blaze of colors on Columbus Day weekend, take in the spectacular sights and taste some award-winning cheese during the Maine Cheese Guild’s annual Open Creamery Day. Visit many of Maine’s cheese makers in their creameries, meet the animals, and learn the stories behind Maine’s more than 150 artisan cheeses. Along the way you can also visit a farmers’ market, stop at an orchard, explore one of Maine’s premier breweries or wineries, pick fruit at Maine’s legendary orchards, and drop-in on one of the many artisan bread makers our state has to offer. You’ll love the views, and the taste of Maine cheese, straight from the source, will be the best memory of all! Continue reading


Maine Wins Ten Awards at 2015 ACS Competition

Maine cheese makers won ten awards at the 2015 American Cheese Society Judging and Competition announced at this year’s ACS Conference in Providence, RI. The ACS cheese competition is the largest competition in North America and includes entries from the US, Canada, and beyond.

From among 267 companies submitting 1,779 entries seven Maine cheese makers won ten awards including four 1st place ribbons, four 2nd place, and two 3rd place ribbons. This is the most ribbons that Maine cheese makers have collected at a ACS competition since 2007 and it reflects the number of Maine cheese makers who could arrange to get their cheeses to the conference being held only a few hours drive from our cheese rooms.

First time competitors such Barred Owl Creamery in Whitefield, and Tide Mill Creamery in Edmunds won awards, as well as long time cheese makers like Appleton Creamery and York Hill Farm who have each won multiple ACS awards in past competitions.

Following are a list of the awards listed alphabetically by creamery name:

Appleton Creamery
1st Place in Marinated Goat Cheese for Chevre In Olive Oil

Barred Owl Creamery
1st Place in Sheep or Mixed Milk Feta for Organic Feta
2nd Place in Farmstead Cheese With Flavor Added for Hot Pepper Jelly Chevre

Fuzzy Udder Creamery
2nd Place in Sheep or Mixed Milk Plain Yogurt for Sheep Milk Yogurt

Swallowtail Farm and Creamery
2nd Place in Cows Milk Ricotta for Ricotta Salata
2nd Place in Yogurt With Flavor Added for Caramel Sea Salt Greek Style Yogurt
3rd Place in Cows Milk Plain Yogurt for Original Cream Top Jersey Cow Milk Yogurt

Tide Mill Creamery
1st Place in Sheep or Mixed Milk Soft Ripened Cheeses for Little Bloom

Winter Hill Farm
3rd Place in Farmstead Aged Less Than 60 Days for Tide Line

York Hill Farm
1st Place in Goats Milk Soft Ripened Cheeses for Ripened Chevre Roll With Ash

FSMA Update from the Maine Department of Agriculture

The Maine Department of Agriculture has issued a press release describing the upcoming transition to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by the federal government and how it might affect food producers here in Maine.

There will also be an FSMA overview session during the Dairy Sanitation Workshop being put on by Cooperative Extension in Orono on June 1st. Click the link for information on how to register for this workshop (Guild members will receive a 50% discount on their registration fee).

And a more thorough examination of the FSMA will be available at the American Cheese Society’s upcoming “Cheese Camp” conference in Providence, RI beginning July 29th.

Maine Cheese Guild

ACS Conference Grant Opportunities

At our Annual Meeting last November we committed to sending as large a group as possible to this year’s American Cheese Society conference in Providence, RI July 29th through August 1s. To that end we committed to offering partial grants to UP TO TEN (or as many as we can afford) Guild members to help them with the cost of attendance; the grants would pay for the Early Bird conference fee of around $500, which would be roughly half of total expenses. (Be aware that you must also be a member of ACS to attend the conference, and to submit competition entries.)

It’s time to ask our members to apply to the Guild so that we know how many folks are interested so we can budget accordingly.

If you can commit to attending the ACS Conference this summer and would like to apply for a guild Grant to do so, please write

—one paragraph describing you and your cheese experience,
—and one paragraph describing what you seek to gain by attending the ACS conference;
—your name and contact info;
—send to with the subject “Guild Grant Request” BEFORE our April 13th meeting.

At that meeting the group will discuss the number of folks seeking a grant, and given our current finances how many grants the Guild can afford to offer. If there are more grant seekers than grants available, the Guild board will review the applications and choose whom will receive Grants before the end of the Early Bird registration.

In addition to conference fee grants, the Guild has committed to offering to pay the entry fee for any Guild member’s first ACS competition entry, and to subsidize a group shipment of all Guild entries into the competition. More info about that effort later this year.

Guild Statement Related To Local Food Ordinances

logo_200_lowThe Maine Cheese Guild stands by it’s Quality Statement, issued in May 2009, with regard to the Local Food Ordinance proposals we have seen, and to the legislative bills introduced for the 2011 session (LD330 and LD366).

Our testimony against LD330, given to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry at the March hearing on this bill follows:
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Milk Temp

Peter Dixon Workshop: Nov 13-14, 2015

Soft, Hard, and Stretchy: The Culture of Southern European Cheeses with Peter Dixon

Peter Dixon will teach a two day workshop focusing on the cheese styles of Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Albania and beyond). He will demonstrate making three different cheeses — one stretchy pasta filata type, one aged hard style, one young softer style — and the techniques for making all three types. In addition, Peter will discuss and demonstrate how to create and propagate natural cheese cultures for use in these and other cheese recipes.

The workshop will take place on FRIDAY and SATURDAY, November 13-14 at Pineland Farms Creamery in New Gloucester, Maine.

The registration fee will be:
$225 for non-Guild members (membership is included in the cost)
$200 for current Guild members

To register send your name, email address, and phone number, plus a deposit check for $100 made out to the Maine Cheese Guild to:

Maine Cheese Guild
Mary Belding, Treasurer
250 Walker Mills Rd.
Harrison, ME 04040

Space is limited, and will be assigned in the order that the checks are received. We cannot hold spaces open without a deposit. Deposits will be refunded only with more than a week’s notice before the workshop.

Serving the interest of cheese-makers and cheese lovers in Maine and beyond