Minnesota is losing one of its top cheesemakers, though luckily his cheese will still be produced locally. Keith Adams, the founder and cheesemaker at Mankato’s Alemar Cheese Company, plans to move to California later this year to launch a new cheesemaking operation focusing on a very different kind of cheese — English-style Cheddar.
Citing a desire to move back to his home state now that his teenage daughters both will be in college this fall, Adams posted a statement on his blog early this morning confirming his plans:
For a long time, I’ve operated on the premise that once the girls were up and out, so was I. I’m from Northern California, and though Minnesota has been home for a very long time, I’ve had an unwavering notion that I ultimately should be back in the place I started.
To be clear: Alemar Cheese will remain in Mankato, hopefully for a very, very long time. I have a vision to start a new cheese venture out West, with the intention of being back in Minnesota often. The girls will both be in school in the Twin Cities, and I want to come back to Alemar regularly. If I’m able to pull this off, I’ll have my own small version of the best of both worlds.
Adams began making Bent River, a soft-ripened Camembert-style cheese, five years ago, and it quickly gained a national following and accolades from the American Cheese Society. To the delight of both cheese and beer fans, he added the Surly Bender-washed Good Thunder to his repertoire last spring. Both cheeses will continue to be produced in Mankato by Craig Hageman, a former chef who began working with Adams in October.