Vermont has established a strong reputation for cheese, and it is something that Vermont Cheese Council likes to celebrate. On July 17, Shelburne Farms will be the setting for a celebration of the product. That is when the 8th annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival will be held. With dozens of cheesemakers present, the event serves as a showcase for the diverse range of cheeses available from producers within the state.
There is more than cheese at the festival, too. In addition to boasting over 45 cheesemakers, the festival will also showcase 80 artisan food, wine, beer, cider, and spirit producers. Tom Bivins, Executive Director of Vermont Cheese Council, said that some of the highlights at this year’s event will include an in-depth cheddar tasting from Shelburne Farms, Grafton Village, Cabot Creamery and Jasper Hill Farm, a beer and cheese tasting with local Beer and Cheese Maven Ruth Miller, and a tasting of blended cheeses with Shacksbury Ciders. There will also a cooking demo with the food editors of Yankee Magazine and Vermont Creamery.
In addition to numerous returning exhibitors, there will be several new faces in the lineup. New exhibitors include hand-cranked butter churn company Churncraft, local tahini-based candy company Halveh Heaven and Patchwork Farm & Bakery.
Organizers anticipate that there will be 1750 ticket holders, along with 100 volunteers and over 122 exhibitors in attendance for the six-hour event.
“It is a very diverse crowd; about 63% are from outside of Vermont, mostly from the New England and Mid-Atlantic region, but we have folks from as far away as Japan. We get a lot of people who just love good cheese and meeting the cheesemakers,” Bivins said.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased for $60 plus $4.29 handling fees on the Eventbrite web site https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-eighth-annual-vermont-cheesemakers-festival-tickets-19710837646. The purchase price includes admission to the event as well as a wine glass, shopping bag, and admission to workshops and demos.