Founded in 2005 by Matt Day and Ryan Trail, Mt Townsend Creamery is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend, WA.
Having had a successful tenure at the New Belgium Brewery as a process engineer, Ryan started to become interested in cheesemaking. Together with his friend Matt, Ryan began experimenting with in his kitchen and soon thereafter, the two enrolled for a cheesemaking class at Washington State University. From there, they hooked up with fellow co-founder Will O’Connell who had been trying to establish a farmstead creamery, and the three joined together to get Mt Townsend Creamery up and running.
After 2 years Will decided to pursue other interests and Matt and Ryan assumed full management of the creamery with Ryan focused on cheese production and creamery infrastructure and Matt managing Marketing, Sales and general business issues.
Inspired by the Olympic Peninsular’s rich dairy history, Mt Townsend produces a variety of cheeses all made from Brown Swiss and Holstein cow’s milk. Mt Townsend has partnered with Maple View Farm, a 275 cow dairy located 30 miles from the creamery. The dairy delivers milk directly to the creamery and Mt Townsend has a close working relationship with the farm.
Inspired by Matt & Ryan’s love of beer and cheese pairings, Off Kilter is the result of some fun cheesemaking experiementation with a Scotch Ale produced by Pike Brewery.
Off Kilter is produced using a rennet-based coagulation process. After pasteurization, cultures are added to acidify the milk and rennet is added. After coagulation, the curd is cut, heated and stirred before being carefully transferred to the cheese molds where it’s allowed to drain.
After unmolding, the young cheeses are brined and then transferred to a drying room where they’re left overnight.
They are then moved to an aging room where they will remain for about twenty one days. During this time, they are regularly washed with a solution of beer in order to create the formation of the rind. When the cheeses are ready, they are wrapped and stored in a cooler before release.
Off Kilter has a semi-soft texture, dotted with small “eyes” or holes, remeniscent of a French-style tomme. The interior paste is a pale straw color while the exterior rind is a delicate pale pink-beige.
Flavors and the aroma are gently earthy, lactic and barnyardy, with a slight tang on the finish.