Events Spring 2016

Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest

By Brett Barest | March 08, 2016
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Photos courtesy of Cindy Kunst from CLicks Photography

Take a moment to imagine what your ideal cheese board would look like. Are there local cheeses of all styles and flavors? Are they accompanied by breads, charcuterie, jams, jellies and other spreadable goodness? Is there so much on the board to choose from that you do not even know where to start?

Now pretend the board is so large that you can walk around on it, and you’ll start to get an idea of what it is like to experience the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest.

This April, that giant cheese board will be at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville. Cheesemakers from all over the region will be accompanied by local food producers for a delicious spring afternoon supporting the WNC Cheese Trail, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the Western North Carolina cheese industry, building consumer education and encouraging tourism. Guests are invited to learn about, taste and purchase some of the best cheese being made in our region today.

Last year’s festival welcomed almost 20 different farms and creameries from Western North Carolina and beyond. Cheese from cow, sheep and goat milks were all represented, as true cheese lovers do not discriminate against milk producing farm species. In addition, farm fresh meats and locally sourced breads and spreads all served as the perfect complement.

In addition to meeting the makers and sampling their wares, the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest offers a host of activities the whole family can enjoy. Grown folks will love the cheese and beer pairings from host and sponsor Highland Brewing. Highland is Asheville’s oldest brewery and one of the largest in North Carolina, and cheese pairings with their brews guarantees to be one of the festival’s biggest attractions. There will also be workshops, demonstrations and children’s activities.

The Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest is the flagship fundraiser of the WNC Cheese Trail. Despite its modest ticket price, this festival goes a long way supporting that mission. Participating farms and creameries are spread wide across the Western North Carolina mountains, and the $12-15 admission is a bargain to have them all at one venue.

Now in its second year, the group aims to build on the resounding success of last year’s festival. “Success” is probably an understatement—the group expected around 500 attendees but approximately 1,500 showed up. The infrastructure held strong, however, and despite a few longer-than-expected lines, the festival went off without a hitch. Organizers expect this year’s festival to be an even greater success. Good, local people love good, local cheese.

CAROLINA MOUNTAIN CHEESE FEST
April 24
Highland Brewing Company
12 Old Charlotte Highway
Asheville, NC

www.mountaincheesefest.com

Photo 1: Photos courtesy of Cindy Kunst from CLicks Photography
Photo 2: Photos courtesy of Cindy Kunst from CLicks Photography

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Article from Edible Upcountry at http://edibleupcountry.ediblecommunities.com/shop/carolina-mountain-cheese-fest
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