No great meal is complete without – you guessed it – cheese! From blue cheese to white cheddar, Iowa has it all. Here are some Iowa-based producers and shops where you can get your cheese fill. Taste your way across the state!
The Cheese Shop
Think cheese is just for appetizers? With menu items like a bacon and blue cheese toastie and gourmet mac & cheese, The Cheese Shop will have you thinking twice. This locally owned establishment specializes in artisanal cheeses and always carries a stock of Iowa goods.
Northern Prairie Chevre
When you visit Northern Prairie Chevre, you won’t just get to taste their products – you’ll get to meet the goats that supply the milk! Here, they specialize in artisan goat cheese made in their own processing facility on the farm. Visit the farm and see the dairy barn and parlor. The retail store is open April through December.
For a cheese experience you’ll never forget, visit Frisian Farms… and stay on the farm at the Cheesemaker’s Inn! Of course, while you’re there you’ll get to see how this small dairy farm uses traditional Dutch cheese-making techniques to produce their Gouda cheese. Through the spring and summer, they grass feed Holstein cows, and in the winter, house them in a free-stall barn.
Honey Creek Creamery
Think Honey Creek Creamery’s chevre has a unique flavor? You’re right! Their goat cheese’s mild flavor is derived from the local Loess Hills vegetation and enhanced by fresh herbs.
Although the Milton Creamery just started in 2005, they’re already making a splash in the cheese world, with their signature Prairie BreezeTM taking home a gold award at the World Cheese Awards. Their cheese is made with milk from cows on small Amish dairy farms.
Reichert's Dairy Air
You’ve heard of a microbrewery… but have you heard of a micro-dairy? Reichert’s Dairy Air is Iowa’s first micro-dairy, making small batches of cheese by hand every day with milk from a herd of 15 goats.
Maytag Dairy Farms
Maytag’s artisan blue cheese can be found in restaurants across the world – and here’s your chance to see where it’s made. Open Monday through Saturday, visitors can view the dairy operation in action and learn more about the origin of Iowa’s most famous cheese. Sampling is most definitely required.
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Radiance Dairy encourages visitors to get up close and personal with their cows – you can visit them right in their pasture! This certified organic dairy farm gives tours where you can see where they produce their milk, whipping cream, yogurt and cheese.