I’ve been lucky enough to pop into Briar Rose a few times since their arrival on the Oregon cheese scene in 2010. It's always a thrill to see a thriving operation with Sarah and her crew hard at work. Today Julia is mixing Fromage Blanc and Amber is bathing Callisto while Sarah shows me around the coolers and packages of cheese for upcoming farmer’s markets. This visit had one very significant change from my others – the milk.
Briar Rose has won awards and made their mark with goat’s milk creations ranging from tangy Chevre, bright Feta, flavorful favorites such as Lorelei – aged and beer washed and the lovely multi-textured Freya’s Wheel in her bloomy ridged goodness. Now in 2018 the tide and milk have turned Briar Rose to the bovine and it is divine! Sarah has partnered with Perrin Family Farms in Woodburn, Oregon to use their organic Ayrshire milk. The cow’s milk first filled in a seasonal need when her previous milk source ran low. This year the need for more consistent supply changed the sideline sitter to the performance player. The fresh cheese is now Fromage Blanc, available in Plain, Alder Smoke & Onion and Lemon Honey. Perfect for smearing on a bagel, crumbling over salads, and stirring into a brunch scramble!
The aged cheeses are a journey from supple to a bit stinky with Damona keeping it mild like a Havarti and transforming into Honnalee after some strategic brine bathing. Maia is a Reblochon style that captivates with an occasional streak of blue bloom across the rind. Creamy, a flicker of funkiness with full cream finish – this cheese has become a hot commodity so grab it if you happen across it!
In addition to these darlings, the aging room also holds the last of a small seasonal release - Phoebe, banded with French spruce bark, runny under the rind and robust. Sarah’s newest creation is the dreamy Butterbloom! Creamy, buttery goodness under an oh so mild bloomy rind that can spread easily on a cracker or slice and broil to a cascade of gooey delight over penne with roasted veggies.
Guided by her knowledge, technical expertise and a desire to be surprised and delighted, Sarah is riding the wave of her journey. We’re all just lucky to be along for the ride!
Visit Briar Rose Creamery at www.briarrosecreamery.com/ for more of their story.
JUST IN....November 6, 2018...