Stepladder Creamery took home gold at the American Cheese Society (ACS) awards ceremony on Thursday, July 21, 2022. The creamery’s Clothbound Goat Cheddar received first place in the Farmstead Goat’s Milk Cheese Category - Aged 60 days or more.
Stepladder Creamery was recognized by the ACS judges for excellence amongst 1,387 products from 196 entering companies. This is Stepladder Creamery’s second award from ACS with the first award received in 2018 for Ragged Point in the triple crème category.
“It’s an honor for our team to win at such a prestigious awards ceremony with other smaller-scale dairies and creameries as well as big-name companies from around the country represented,” said Jack Rudolph, Stepladder Creamery owner. “The Farmstead Aged Goat category is a big one, open to all different styles of hard goat cheeses from people who raise their own animals. We’re most proud of this award because it recognizes the efforts and successes of our dairy team as well as our cheesemakers. We felt confident in our delicious farmstead goat’s milk from our herd of LaMancha goats. Clothbound Goat Cheddar is a labor-intensive cheese to make, paying homage to traditional cheesemaking with everything done meticulously by hand. This is different from commercialized cheesemaking, for Cheddar’s especially, and we’re happy the judges could taste our team’s love and dedication to our craft with this cheese.”
Clothbound Goat Cheddar was originally developed as a special release for Stepladder Creamery’s Quarterly Cheese Club in 2020. The creamery team took their existing Cambria Clothbound Cow Cheddar recipe and tweaked it slightly to showcase the creamery’s farmstead goat’s milk. The cheese curd was milled, salted and bound in muslin cloth, and cared for in our aging rooms all by hand.
Cheese wheels were then aged in our caves for six months at the time of submission for the 2022 awards.
“We typically age these cheese styles for at least 12 months, but were surprised with the flavors when doing a taste test at six months,” added Rudolph. “It really stood out to our team with the slightly softer and creamier paste and bright flavors from our herd’s milk.”
Clothbound Goat Cheddar is only available during specific times of the year, with a small release available now, while supplies last. To learn more about making Clothbound Goat Cheddar visit the Stepladder Creamery blog.