Beer & Cheese 2012

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Volume One's guide to everything beer and Cheese related in the Chippewa Valley.

Transcript of Beer & Cheese 2012

  • &BEERVolume Ones celebration of

    our regions most famous creations

    Editors: Thom Fountain,

    Kinzy Janssen, Tyler Gr


    Writers: Lindsey Quinnie

    s, Anna Semanko, Marn

    i Kaldjian

    Photography: Andrea Pa


    Design: Katie Wolff & Jo

    sh Smeltzer

  • Daves Brewfarm is a hid-den treasure in the Western Wisconsin landscape that high-lights the importance and ease of sustainable living through

    demonstration while consistently producing delicious local brews for the beer lovers of Wisconsin and its neighbors. Located in the small, rural Western Wisconsin town of Wilson (about 30 minutes from Hudson, WI), Daves BrewFarm is a one-man shop, run pretty much solely by brewer

    Farmer Dave Anderson with the help of his wife Pamela Dixon. The two bought the BrewFarm land in 2008 and have been living above the place where they produce their brews ever since. Daves reason for starting the brewery

    he puts simply: I love beer. A lifetime beer lover, Dave Anderson had been hoping to have a brewery since about 1995. He says, I had a vision for what it could be. It was just a matter of piecing the puzzle together until it [became] a reality. I was looking to create a good lifestyle for my wife and me. If there was such a thing, this would be a true Mom & Pop Brewery.

    Daves BrewFarm started with its first brew, Say Zahn, and has grown to produce eight draft beers in the

    seven-barrel brew house that are con-stantly rotating due to season or ingre-dient availability. One of the typical favorites and first to be released was BrewFarm Select which is an American golden lager meant for easy drinkin.

    After producing so many variet-ies of beer, Dave says his favorite is the one in my right hand going on to say, beer is a mood thing and his favorite depends on whatever the occasion might be.

    Dave and Pamela strongly believe in making sustainable living a way of life around the world and try to lead by exam-ple. As they feature on their website, Daves BrewFarm is an inno-vative demonstration project showcasing the latest in renewable and sustainable business practices, and rural develop-ment. Our hope is that through lead-ing by example, other businesses will

    adopt these (and other) sustainable strategies, real-izing that every effort helps the planet and the bot-

    tom line. To further support their belief

    in sustainable living, the BrewFarm gets its

    power from a 120-foot wind generator that also serves as a

    landmark for the location of the farm within its rural landscape.

    After noticing the increasing fuel prices and searching

    through about 80 proper-ties, the land Dave and Pamela ultimately chose

    for the location of their BrewFarm stuck out not only for its overwhelming beauty but also for the amount of wind that they immediately noticed upon their arrival. After being

    DAVES BREWFARMa local brewmaster whos made waves internationally


    If there was such a thing, this would be a true Mom and Pop Brewery. Aug. 9, 2012 30

  • enamored by the idea of wind power for years, the couple decided to take advantage of the wind readily available to them at their location and install a 200 KW Jacobs wind generator to uti-lize resources and in due course reduce the energy they use and its cost to their business. Although the installation was expensive at first, the money that uti-lizing wind power will save them will allow for the generator to quickly pay for itself and then some. Dave says that using wind power has allowed them to have an annual power bill of about $300 a massive step down from what it would be using conventional power sources. After doing the research on wind power, Dave and Pamela were

    intrigued by discovering other envi-ronmentally friendly and cost effective solutions to running their business. Eventually, their research led them to the use of solar/thermal panels which will reduce the energy costs to heat and cool things at the BrewFarm.

    Further backing to their journey to become completely self-sufficient, Farmer Dave says, This is a true farm-house brewery. We are on 38 acres. We grow our own hops and other supple-mental herbs and whatnot. Dave grows different botanicals on site, includ-ing five varieties of hops for seasonal fresh hop beers in the fall, red clover, grapes, basil, dandelions, and rhubarb. Sustainable living is very possible for

    other businesses and Dave says with stewardship and thought we can make a living while taking care of the planet. He also says that the brewery is more of an experience for the com-munity as well as a place for the com-monality of the love of draft beer.

    You can pick up some of the BrewFarm beers at Just Local Food, The Coffee Grounds, or occasionally at the Firehouse downtown. Tastings are offered in the open tap room occasional Saturdays and Sundays from 3-7pm. More information can be found online at Daves blog: Aug. 9, 2012 31

  • Aug. 9, 2012 34

    Despite what the commercials try to tell us, we all know that the cows are much happier in good old Wisconsin (the dairy state) than in the California

    heat. While the cows are happy-go-lucky,

    us cheeseheads arent playing around. Over 90% of the milk produced in Wisconsin goes towards cheese pro-duction and many unique cheeses like baby swiss and colby were invented right here. Making cheese in Wisconsin is serious business. Wisconsin is the only state that requires a licensed cheesemaker to be on site during the manufacturing of each vat of cheese. With the amount of cheese being pro-duced in Wisconsin on a daily basis, it is estimated that there are over 1,200 licensed cheesemakers in the state.

    As most of us probably didnt even think there was such a process, we may be wondering what this licensing entails. The license itself costs $75 dol-lars and has to be renewed every two years. Cheese guru Jeanne Carpenter, who writes for many cheese companies along with freelancing and running the Wisconsin Cheese Originals group (dedicated to introducing new artisan cheeses to the world), summed up the newer cheese licensing process, as it was changed to be more accommo-dating for smaller scale cheesemakers about 10 years ago. The new method requires a cheesemaker to attend five university-level short courses (2-5 days each), apprentice under a licensed cheesemaker for 240 hours, and then take a written test, says Carpenter, They cover the basics of cheesemak-

    ing: the art, science and sanitation aspects.

    The process of licensing typical-ly takes about 12 to 18 months, but Carpenter feels its worth the wait if cheesemaking is your destiny, Over the course of 18 months, youre going

    to figure out whether being a chee-semaker is really what you want to do for a living. Those who truly do will make the financial and physical effort to move forward. In the spirit of the dairy state, Carpenter awards one $2,500 Beginning Cheesemaker

    A worker at Castle Rock Organic Farms making cheese curds for all of your enjoyment.



    EA P



    HOW TO MAKE A CHEESEMAKERthe controversy surrounding licensing for cheesemakers


  • Aug. 9, 2012 35

    Scholarship every year to help out one lucky cheesemaking wannabe.

    Aspiring cheesemaker Rama Hoffpauir, who has taken three out of the five required courses and is about 100 hours into her apprentice-ship, depicts the burden that the licens-ing process can have on a local artisan or small scale cheesemaker. Hoffpauir

    feels that while having a licensed facility is very important, it is unfair for Wisconsin to be the only state to require licensing for artisan and small scale cheese makers. The classes are mainly for the benefit of large cheese factories and the curriculum is geared towards those folks, says Hoffpauir. Apart from being an aspiring cheese maker, Im also a full time mom to a toddler and the co-owner of a 260 vegetable CSA farm with my husband. Money, time, finding an apprentice-ship, sitting on several hundred pounds of cheese that we cant sell because Im not a licensed cheese maker... Its all been a struggle.

    Hoffpauir feels that licensing may deter some local cheesemakers and artisans who may not have the time or money. She thinks that by removing licensing, there would be a greater number of artisan cheese-makers in Wisconsin and the people of Wisconsin would have much more amazing local cheeses to eat. She suggests that aspiring cheesemakers may better spend their money visiting other cheesemakers to gain experience and knowledge. Hoffpauir points out that cheesemakers go into the busi-ness because they are passionate about it. Every cheesemaker does a lot of research, experimentation, reading, visiting other cheesemakers... No one wants to try to sell crappy cheese that people wont buy or eat.

    Carpenter agrees that the licensing requirements must cause a burden on the local artisans and smaller scale businesses, but she feels it is a nec-essary burden. In Wisconsin, chee-semaking is our states identity. It is important that identity not be tarnished by poor products, says Carpenter. She fears that if licensing was removed that there would be a rise of poor qual-ity cheese in the area because of the detailed sanitation process it takes to make cheese, which is learned through the required courses.

    Carpenter reiterates the necessity of licensing as a basic building block in the cheese industry, Becoming licensed requires cheesemakers to learn the basic science and art behind cheesemaking. Many more continue their education in master classes once they become licen