There are a thousand reasons to love cheese. It’s delicious, it’s a good source of protein and you can add it to almost anything for a better flavor experience – even apple pie. We are fortunate to have several cheesemakers in Washington who produce artisan cheeses that have been recognized not only locally, but globally, for their superior quality and taste.
From the Skagit Valley to Pike’s Place Market to the heart of the Palouse, Washington cheesemakers strive to bring the best cheese straight to us. We’ve compiled a list of exceptional cheesemakers throughout the state whose specialty cheeses are sure to satisfy cheese lovers everywhere.
Appel Farms – Ferndale, WA
Owned and operated by the Appels, a family full of cheese experts, this 900-cow dairy produces some of the most unique cheeses in the state - like Bacon Cheddar, Jalapeno Gouda and Maasdammer, a cheese with Dutch origins. Appel Farms is also well known for its Indian yogurt, a soft, sweet yogurt with no gelatins or preservatives. The Cheese Shop is open Monday through Saturday, 9am – 6pm.
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese – Seattle, WA
Quickly becoming a household name, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is a local gem and tourist hotspot. Its Pike Place Market location gives visitors a peek at the cheesemaking process. Beecher’s signature Flagship cheese has won several awards and is the reason our readers voted Beecher’s Mac & Cheese one of the best in the state. The store is open every day from 9am – 7pm.
Cherry Valley Dairy – Duvall, WA
Cherry Valley Dairy says it best: “the refurbished dairy and its new creamery are an inspiring example of how artisanal practices and environmental stewardship can come together to nourish the community and respect the land.” Their Jersey Jack is pressed into natural rind cheese wheels and then coated with powdered cinnamon, cocoa powder and black pepper. Cherry Valley dairy products are available at a handful of local establishments; see them here.
Golden Glen Creamery – Bow, WA
Golden Glen handcrafts all-natural cheese and butter from a small herd of Holstein, Guernsey and Jersey cows. Its slow-batch pasteurization process results in a more wholesome, superior-tasting product. The Creamery is open Monday through Saturday, 10am – 6pm, and products are also available at several local farmers markets. Visit their Facebook page to see where they’re headed next.
Kurtwood Farms – Vashon Island, WA
Vashon Island is a quick ferry ride from Seattle; there you’ll find Kurtwood Farms, home to a dozen Jersey cows who produce all the milk for the farm’s cheese. All cheese is hand made and wrapped and personally delivered. Kurtwood Farms’ artisanal cheeses include Dinah’s Cheese, Flora’s Cheese and LogHouse cheese. Click here to see where to find Kurtwood Farms Cheese.
River Valley Cheese
There is no automated equipment to be found in the River Valley cheese room. "Handmade" really means handmade. They offer artisan cheese making classes for diehard cheese lovers along with a variety of raw and fresh milk cheeses like Bo Vino, Naughty Nellie and Valley Crottin.
Samish Bay Cheese – Bow, WA
Samish Bay Cheese is a certified organic dairy in the Skagit Valley. Its herd is a mix of Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Jersey-Shorthorn crosses, Holstein and Dutch Belted - which makes for a great variety of fresh cheeses, including the signature Ladysmith cheese. Samish Bay Cheese can be found on the farm and at local farmers markets throughout northwest Washington.
WSU Creamery – Pullman, WA
Holding it down for Eastern Washington is the WSU Creamery. It produces the world-renowned Cougar Gold cheese. Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe is the retail store and serves up old-fashioned ice cream and soda fountain drinks, as well as all the Cougar cheeses. Fortunately for Western Washingtonians, Cougar cheese can also be ordered online through WSU's website.