Sunday, August 09, 2009

Cheese! Glorious cheese!

It's hard to visit New Glarus, Wisconsin, without feeling like at least an honorary Cheesehead. But Tim was the only one who tried to make it official by modeling an amazing assortment of wearable "cheese" foam accessories.

Beyond the traditional wedge-o-cheese hat, he discovered "cheese" sombreros, cone heads, ice cream cones (imagine the Statue of Liberty torch in bright yellow), and the oh-so-cheezy double-cup bra.
We discovered these variations on a Cheesehead theme at the Alp and Deli Cheese Factory, owned by Roth Käse USA. Those of you who know my buddy Russell, above left, won't be surprised to hear that this is one of his favorite places in his new home state.
Here's Tim taking in the amazing selection of cheese offered in the factory's adjacent store. Click on any pic to view it larger.

You want Swiss Gruyère? They've got it. You want Italian Fontina? They've got it. You want trailer trash chocolate cheese? Yup, they've got that too.
And no trip to the heartland of American cheesedom would be complete without a stop at the cheese museum housed inside this old train depot.
A very sweet woman guided us around the museum in Price-Is-Right-pointer-girl-style while we listed to the story of cheese-making history in this region of Wisconsin over a speaker system.
Next stop was the New Glarus Brewing Company, which is housed in this new sprawling chalet-ish complex that had an unmistakable Napa Valley winery feel to it.
After sampling some of the award-winning brewery's surprisingly tasty beers, we did a self-guided tour of the plant and saw some of the beer-making process first hand. We really liked - and strongly recommend - Fat Squirrel and Totally Naked.

But if you want to try these local brews, most of you will have to do some traveling because they are only sold within Wisconsin's borders.
Before we left, Tim and Russell couldn't resist quizing one of the brewers about the finer points of beer making over a couple of sample cups of barley and hopps.

A stop at the brewery is well worth the time and effort. A visit to the tasting room costs only $3.50, which covers three beers and a branded tasting glass.

1 comment:

LJensen said...

I Love Wisconsin! My Danish Cheese loving hubby would love that cheese shop! WOW!