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. Named after the trees of the old growth forests of the Olympic Peninsular, Red Alder is a washed rind cheese made 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 brine solution in order to create the formation of the rind. When the cheeses are ready, they are wrapped and stored in a cooler before release. Red Alder has a delicate pale pink and white rind with a slightly waxy texture. The interior paste is ivory colored and gently dotted with small holes and slits. Aromas and flavors are earthy, cave-like and pleasantly musty.