Located near Colchester in Connecticut, Cato Corner Farm is owned by mother and son partnership, Elizabeth MacAlistair and Mark Gillman.
Having owned the farm for a number of years, Elizabeth started milking cows and experimenting with cheesemaking in 1997 with a view to keeping the farm alive and sustainable. Two years later in 1999, Mark left his job to join her and, after they had each taken several workshops and courses, they were able to begin cheese production in earnest.
The farm is home to a mixed herd of forty Jersey and Brown Swiss cows that graze outside from May to the end of October. During the winter months they eat only natural fodder and supplements.
Mark is the primary cheesemaker at Cato Corner and is also responsible for the cheese aging. Elizabeth manages the farm and milking.
All the cheeses are made by hand in small batches from raw milk. Mark makes a variety of cheeses, the style of each type being suited to the seasonal components and characteristics of the milk.
One of the cheeses, Drunken Hooligan, is a version of Cato Corner's Hooligan and is produced seasonally from November to January.
As the name implies, Drunken Hooligan is washed with a blend of local grape must and red wine, sourced from Priam Vineyard in nearby Colchester.
The resulting red colored rind encases a cheese that is less pungent and 'stinky' than regular Hooligan. Instead, flavors are aromatic and wine-like with distinctly fruity vegetal notes.