Jasper Hill Farm Wins Two Spots in the Top 20 World’s Best Cheeses

The World Championship Cheese Contest picks newly launched Highlander as a top 20 finalist.

Greensboro, Vermont, March 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The World Cheese Championship Contest, held in Madison Wisconsin this past week, announced results featuring the top 20 final candidates in the running for the top prize out of a record 3,667 international entries. Jasper Hill Farm is pleased to announce that they made two of these winning cheeses.

The fact that Highlander, Jasper Hill’s newest cheese, was among the finalists was especially gratifying for the company’s growing team. Highlander is a mountain style cheese made with goat milk from Jasper Hill’s new collaborative venture, Bridgman Hill Farm. The cheese has a rosy orange washed rind and a smooth, pliable texture. Judges appreciated its richness of texture, savory complexity and milky sweet character that make it a great match for briny green olives, preserved lemon and vin jaune (full bodied ‘yellow wine’ from the Jura with funky aromas).

Lait Bloomer, also in the Top 20, is a variation of Little Hosmer made by Jasper Hill Creamery, which is sent ‘green’, or unripened, to the Murray’s Cheese aging facility in Long Island City, NY. The affineurs at Murray’s then coat the young cheeses in dried flowers and herbs before letting the cheese’s white flora ‘bloom’ through the coating for a gorgeous, festive appearance and herbaceous aromas. Notably, another Jasper Hill & Murray’s Cheese collaboration, Greensward, took the First Runner Up Best in Show Award at the 2016 American Cheese Society competition.

Jasper Hill Farm was also pleased to see that their raw milk, winter seasonal cheese, Winnimere, took a Best in Class Award this week, while their Harbison and Bayley Hazen Blue cheeses finished in the top three of their classes.

“It’s a huge honor to be recognized at this high-level competition amongst such excellent cheeses from all over the world--and in the friendly-cheese-rival state of Wisconsin no less. Our young team has demonstrated that curiosity and tenacity in service of a community-focused mission can produce amazing results. I’m so proud to be a part of that team.” Said Zoe Brickley, who oversees Jasper Hill’s marketing efforts


Jasper Hill always had long term plans for goat milk cheese; it is one of the most frequently requested attributes among customers and industry partners alike. What motivated the recent foray into this new category, however, was the opportunity to partner with goat farming experts Ryan Andrus and Annie Rowden, who were seeking a collaborative venture that would truly showcase high quality American goat milk. Together, Jasper Hill and the young family purchased Oak Knoll Dairy, the former owners of which were looking to retire after more than 30 years in business. Their disease-free and well managed, closed herd was the main draw. The goats were relocated to Hardwick this past summer, which is within 10 miles of Jasper Hill’s HQ in Greensboro, Vermont. The new venture was named for the road on which it sits: Bridgman Hill Farm.

Andrus says, "It’s a huge honor to be recognized at this high-level competition amongst such excellent cheeses from all over the world.  The transformation from potential collaborative pipe dream to internationally recognized, award-winning cheeses in just over a year is astonishing.  Annie and I are so happy to be here in Vermont, with such an inspiring and passionate team of cheesemakers.  While we are extremely impressed with the capabilities of the Jasper Hill team, we aren't at all surprised.  It takes this high level of skill and implementation ability when you set out with a community focused mission, striving to innovate artistically, while the rest of the industry is heading in the opposite direction.  We knew they had it in them, and we're grateful to call them partners.  These awards, and the apparent ease and rapidity in which they arose, totally sum up the reasons why we moved our family to northern Vermont to collaborate with Jasper Hill; we're so excited to see what the future may bring."   

In order to ensure an outlet for this new milk source, Jasper Hill’s Cheesemaking, Cave-ripening, and QA/Sensory Teams pulled together to develop and launch three new cheeses in quick succession. Eligo is a semi-soft washed rind cheese, Bridgman Blue is a raw milk natural rind blue, and Highlander takes inspiration from the Swiss Raclette style. All three cheeses are made with a blend of goat and cow milk, which lends a complex, goaty kick to the buttery richness of cow milk. Generally, it takes years to fully develop a cheese recipe, so the immediate success of Highlander bodes well for the future of the collaboration.


Jasper Hill is an independently owned, working dairy farm with an on-site creamery in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Since the company’s inception in 2003 the cheesemaking operations have grown to include a second small creamery and second herd of cows. A Cropping Center, which dries hay for the cows, is responsible for maintaining 976 open acres in a 15-mile radius of Jasper Hill Farm. The Cellars at Jasper Hill, an on-site, underground aging facility, maximizes the potential of cheeses made by the creamery, as well as those made by other local producers. Jasper Hill’s mission is to be a Standard Bearer of Quality and Innovation in the Artisan Cheese Industry and an active participant in the conservation of Vermont’s Working Landscape through the production of high-quality products that reflect a regional Taste of Place. www.jasperhillfarm.com/about


Highlander, a mountain-style goat blend cheese made by Jasper Hill Farm. Ryan Andrus and Annie Rowden, co-owners with Jasper Hill Farm of the new Bridgman Hill Farm, which is the source for the goat milk in the winning Highlander cheese.

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