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Beechers Handmade Cheese - Vino Pair Cheesemaker Index

Beechers Handmade Cheese

Beechers Handmade Cheese

1600 Pike Place Seattle, Washington 98101
Phone: (206) 322-1644
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About Beechers Handmade Cheese

At the Beecher's Handmade Cheese shops in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market and New York's Flatiron District, visitors press their noses against the windows to witness a vat of creamy white milk transformed by the expert hands of the cheesemaker. Although he is aided in the process by simple machinery, the cheesemaker is crafting cheese using the same techniques that have been used for thousands of years. A cheese lover since childhood, Kurt Beecher Dammeier remembers encouraging his mother to buy artisan cheese at a time when processed cheese was overtaking the market; and he recalls his great-grandfather, whose first name was Beecher, purchasing Stilton by the wheel.


HAPPY NATIONAL CHEESE DAY! Stop in today and get some cheesy goodness to celebrate! #cheese #flagship #beechers #nationalcheeseday #options #YASSQUEEN

A photo posted by Beecher's Handmade Cheese (@beecherscheese) on

In 2002, having become firmly entrenched in the Seattle food scene, Kurt was walking through Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market and noticed that a long-time tennant had closed up shop. Inspired, he called the landlord, returned to his office and announced they were going into the cheesemaking business. With fond memories of his grandfather and his wheels of Stilton, it was a natural fit to name the business Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. For Kurt, Beecher’s fulfilled an ambition of his beyond just making great cheese. He has long felt passionately about eating food free of harmful additives and preservatives, as well as believing that people should know more about the food they eat – where it comes from, what goes into it and how it is made.

#TouristTuesday Pike Place is exquisite at night! Especially during the holidays. #Seattle

A photo posted by Beecher's Handmade Cheese (@beecherscheese) on

The Pike Place Market location - a Seattle mecca for fresh produce and handcrafted items - provided the opportunity to nearly encircle the cheesemaking kitchen with windows, allowing a live demonstration of all three of those tenets in an entertaining format. Soon after acquiring the space, used cheesemaking equipment was purchased piece-by-piece and welded together into a custom pasteurizing and cheesemaking facility to fit into the 1,000 square foot glass-walled kitchen. All that was left to do was find a local source of premium milk. As simple as that sounds, most dairies sell their milk to larger companies. In addition, the quality of cheese is ultimately dependent upon the quality of milk. Kurt was looking for milk from cows that were fed high quality feed and not given recombinant bovine growth hormones (rBST). Any cows being treated with antibiotics would need to be isolated from the herd so their milk was not used until testing assured that the antibiotics disappeared from their system. A chance meeting connected Kurt with a local farmer and his herd of healthy, well-treated cows in Duvall, Washington. The farmer was selling the milk from his herd to a large milk producer, but was interested in making cheese and so agreed to be the sole supplier of milk to Beecher's. Securing a local dairy meant Beecher's could ensure the quality and purity of the milk and - ultimately - the cheese. Seven days a week, fresh milk is pumped into the holding tanks at our cheesemaking kitchens. Then the day-long process of cheesemaking begins. Depending upon the day, the cheesemakers may be making Beecher's signature 15-month aged Flagship, Flagsheep, Marco Polo, or any of the other cheeses that Beecher's makes. Under the skilled direction of the cheesemaker (and with a little help from the cows), the end result is a wholesome, authentic cheese - full of flavor and high in nutrition.

Beechers Handmade Cheese Made in Washington