Conference Agenda

Cheese with Altitude Agenda

Please note that this program is subject to change.

  • Session Locations: Unless otherwise noted, all sessions and events will take place at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO.
  • Session Seating: With the exception of tasting sessions, all sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis at the door, and sessions are not selected in advance at time of registration. As some sessions will fill to capacity, be sure to have an alternate session in mind for each time slot.
  • Tasting Sessions: Tasting sessions are optional and take place during concurrent session blocks. Individuals who register for the Conference in advance may reserve tasting session tickets when they register. Space is limited and a ticket is required for admission.

View the Agenda:

Session Handouts and Presentations:

Conference session handouts and presentation slides can be accessed and downloaded from the Cheese With Altitude Conference Mobile App.

THURSDAY, JULY 27

 

REGISTRATION OPEN

Plaza Registration
7:30 am – 6:00 pm

 

ALL-DAY NETWORKING SALONS

Plaza Exhibit Foyer

7:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sample products from:

  • Atalanta Corporation
  • Cheese Importers
  • Comté Cheese Association
  • Coombe Castle International Ltd.
  • FOODMatch
  • Forever Cheese/Mitica

 

SUPPORTING TRADE TABLES

Plaza Exhibit Foyer
7:30 am – 4:00 pm

A map of Supporting Trade tables and a Sponsor Passport are included with your Conference materials. Visit at least eight tables, plus the Bookstore, and have your passport stamped at each location. Return your completed passport to the Registration Desk for a chance to win a complimentary 2018 ACS Conference registration!

 

VERMONT PANCAKE BREAKFAST

Plaza Ballroom A-E
7:45 am – 8:30 am

Sponsored by the Vermont Cheese Council

Start your day with a taste of place: Vermont maple syrup, smoked bacon and ham, buttermilk pancakes, cultured butter, and of course, Vermont cheese! Then, grab a seat for the Opening Keynote with Jim Davidson.

 

 

OPENING KEYNOTE

RESILIENT TEAMWORK & LEADERSHIP: FACING CHALLENGE AND CHANGE ON EVEREST, AT WORK, AND IN LIFE

Plaza Ballroom A-E

8:45 am – 9:45 am

  • Jim Davidson, Speaking of Adventure

The best response to challenge, change, and uncertainty is resilience. From his many climbing adventures, high-altitude expedition leader Jim Davidson will distill practical lessons to nurture resilient teamwork and leadership in every situation. Jim will share exhilarating stories and vivid videos from surviving the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Mount Everest, and he’ll reveal what climbing alone out of an 80-foot deep glacial crevasse taught him about personal resilience and post-traumatic growth. Jim co-authored the New York Times bestselling memoir “The Ledge,” and his compelling insights have been featured on Discovery, CBS, PBS, and many more. Join Jim for a book signing immediately after this session.

 

BOOKSTORE OPEN

Governor’s Rotunda

9:00 am – 3:30 pm

 

BREAK & AUTHOR BOOK SIGNING

Plaza Exhibit Foyer

9:45 am – 10:15 am

  • Jim Davidson, Speaking of Adventure

 

 

MEDIA BRIEFING

Plaza Court 2

9:45 am – 10:15 am

Open to credentialed media.

 

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

10:15 am – 11:45 am

 

#1 – What’s Next? Cheese R&D comes out from behind the curtain

Plaza Ballroom F

Think of this as “speed dating” for cheese! ACS member cheesemakers will showcase their newest and most innovative cheeses and cultured dairy products in short and sweet sessions. You will have an opportunity to see what they are working on and share your candid feedback. Then, you’ll move to the next table to sample and discuss another new product. During this session, you’ll have a chance to meet with several cheesemakers to provide your honest opinions and have a hand in helping to shape or refine the new products that are being developed. Our hope is that this event will encourage producers to step outside of their comfort zone, while simultaneously getting the industry excited about products on the horizon! Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#2 – Cheese as an Economic and Social Driver

Majestic Ballroom (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Jean-Louis Carbonnier, Comté Cheese Association
  • David Gremmels, Rogue Creamery
  • Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm
  • Kelly Prior, Litehouse Cheese
  • Moderator: Stephanie Skinner, Culture Magazine

Cheese can be more than just a commodity.  It has the power to influence an entire community. This seminar will examine how cheese can help fuel and maintain the economic vibrancy and environment of a town, region, and even a country. From job creation, to environmental development and protection, to the preservation of cultural heritage, this seminar will discuss how cheese can create positive, lasting change outside of the dairy.

 

#3 – Restaurants and Cheese: Expanding the Cheese Plate

Governor’s Square 14

  • Nicolas Farrell, Italco Food Products
  • Brian Keyser, Casellula Cheese & Wine Café
  • Cole Mathers, ACS CCP®, Restaurant Gary Danko
  • Moderator: Jane Bauer, American Cheese Society

At last, cheese is stepping up to the plate…center plate, that is! There is a burgeoning opportunity for cheese in the restaurant industry, and now’s your chance to get in on the action! From cheese plates, to cheese as an ingredient, to the main event, cheese can take center stage (or center plate) at any restaurant. Opportunities abound for cheese pairings with beverage programs and out of the box pairings. This session provides innovative insights as well as the tried and true ways to help you promote cheese in your business.

 

#4 – Teaching the Trade

Governor’s Square 15

  • Louella Hill, San Francisco Milk Maid
  • Ivan Larcher, SAS Larcher Consulting
  • Jim Wallace, New England Cheesemaking Supply

From curious customers to aspiring cheese professionals, the market is full of inquisitive minds ready to soak up every morsel of cheesemaking knowledge available. Your experience can help bring the world of cheese to life. Join these three highly experienced instructors to learn how to develop cheesemaking classes that are sure to educate, engage, and inspire your audience!

 

#5 – Hot Topic! With a Twist

Vail (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Dick Roe, Gourmet Foods International

Come one, come all! “Hot Topic!” is back…with a twist! You’ll still have the ability to select and discuss the topics that are important to you. However, participation has been expanded to include professionals from all business areas within our cheese family. No matter your role, this is your opportunity to ask questions and receive 360 degree feedback from industry peers. We hope you’ll join us to help get the conversations started in this fun, interactive, attendee-led session.

 

#6 – How Sweet Are You? The Science of Taste

Plaza Court 8

  • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia

Before you can understand the flavors in food, you need to understand your palate. Join sensory expert Russell Smith to find out just how differently we all experience flavors. Your thresholds for tastes on the tongue will be tested, as well as your ability to discriminate between the flavors of very similar cheeses. Then, put this knowledge to the test by tasting a variety of cheeses to determine just how sweet you are! Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#7 – Open Networking: Food Safety at Retail

Governor’s Square 16

Sponsored by the Specialty Food Association

Facilitators:

  • John Antonelli, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop
  • Laura Downey, ACS CCP®, Fairfield Cheese Company
  • Cathy Gaffney, Wegmans
  • Meri Spicer, Grafton Village Cheese Company
  • Sarah Spira, American Cheese Society

Join this small group of retailers to discuss food safety concerns, practices, and needed resources at retail.

 

 

ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING & LUNCH

Plaza Ballroom A-E

Lunch sponsored by COWS CREAMERY

  • Lunch Buffet: 12:00 pm – 12:30 p.m.
  • Business Meeting: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Come hear updates from your ACS Board of Directors on what they’ve accomplished in the past year, and learn about ACS’s Strategic Plan 2020 and how the organization plans to focus on advancing the industry while proactively addressing member needs. You’ll also be on hand as we recognize industry members, announce Board changes, congratulate scholarship recipients, and present the prestigious 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

BREAK & AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS

Governor’s Rotunda

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

  • Brian Keyser, Casellula Cheese & Wine Café
  • Leigh Friend, Casellula Cheese & Wine Café

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

 

#8 – Hops vs. Malt: A Smackdown with Cheese

Plaza Ballroom F

  • Adam Dulye, Brewers Association
  • Janet Fletcher, Planet Cheese
  • Moderator: Veronica Pedraza, ACS CCP®

Two brews go “mano a mano” in this tasting, competing for your vote. In the ring: a hoppy ale and a malt-focused brew. On the plate: American artisan cheeses. Guided by “Cheese & Beer” author Janet Fletcher and Adam Dulye, executive chef for the Brewers Association, you’ll learn to identify the cheese styles that respond better to hoppy beers and the types that clamor for malt. This fun and interactive exercise will help steer you toward the brews that complement the cheeses you make or sell. Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#9 – The Neuroscientist, The Mystic, and the Cheesemaker — Employee Retention and Emotional Intelligence

Majestic Ballroom (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Dr. Helen Scharfman, New York University
  • Paul Scharfman, Specialty Cheese Company, Inc.
  • Vicki Semo Scharfman, Specialty Cheese Company, Inc.

Retaining good employees is a challenge for all businesses. When you’re manufacturing cheese in rural Wisconsin, the challenges of attracting and retaining employees are even greater. Hear first-hand from the leaders who developed a program to improve retention – a 24-module set of interactive classes designed to teach Social and Emotional Intelligence to leads, supervisors, and managers. The bilingual curriculum is based in neuroscience and mystic spirituality, but grounded in the cold reality of making fresh, clean cheese. Results indicate that this innovative approach works!

 

#10 – Got Gas? Gas Defects in Cheese with an Emphasis on Late Blowing

Governor’s Square 14

  • Rebecca Hohlstein, CSK Food Enrichment
  • Gina Mode, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research

Ever wonder about the nuances of gas production? Looking for someone to turn to when Alka-Seltzer just won’t work? Look no further! Join these experts to learn about the defects caused by unwelcome gas production in cheese. You will get an in-depth look at the different types of defects, how to determine microbiological causes, and what to do about it. Take a deep dive into late blowing!

 

#11 – Sales Decline as a Path to Greatness

Governor’s Square 15

  • Hunter Fike, ACS CCP®, Di Bruno Bros.

Any company can be successful in an environment of minimal competition and increasing customer count. The challenge comes when you are faced with new competition, and inevitably, your customers will be attracted to that which is new. How do you maintain or improve profits when the going gets tough? Consider a dip in customer count as an opportunity to refocus on best practices, tighten your assortment, and reconsider how you visually merchandise your store. This session will teach you how to bring customers back and make your business stronger than ever!

 

#12 – How Sweet Are You? The Science of Taste

Plaza Court 8

  • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia

Before you can understand the flavors in food, you need to understand your palate. Join sensory expert Russell Smith to find out just how differently we all experience flavors. Your thresholds for tastes on the tongue will be tested, as well as your ability to discriminate between the flavors of very similar cheeses. Then, put this knowledge to the test by tasting a variety of cheeses to determine just how sweet you are! Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#13 – Open Networking: Charcuterie

Governor’s Square 16

Join this small group to meet fellow charcuterie producers, share stories, and network!

 

2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

#14 – ACS Town Hall

Vail (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Nora Weiser, ACS Executive Director
  • Officers of the ACS Board of Directors

Sponsored by the Specialty Food Association

Join ACS Executive Director Nora Weiser and officers of the ACS Board of Directors for an open discussion about how ACS membership works, and how it can best be updated to reflect and serve our changing industry. Share your thoughts on how you view your membership, how you’d like to see ACS evolve, and help guide us to a new vision for what ACS can be in the future.

 

MEET THE CHEESEMAKER

Colorado Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D (700 14th Street)
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm (Retailers and Distributors Only)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm (Open to All Attendees)

Sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board

Meet the people behind your favorite cheeses! This popular event is your chance to sample North America’s finest cheeses and speak directly with the experts—the cheesemakers themselves. Come hungry and ready for delicious cheese and cultured dairy products from over 80 producers! Cash bar available.

 

OPENING RECEPTION
McNichols Civic Center Building (144 W. Colfax Avenue)
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sponsored by Gourmet Foods International

Join fellow cheese friends at this welcome reception with Colorado flair! Don’t forget to bring the ticket you received with your registration materials – it’s good for food at any one of the food trucks slinging local fare outside Denver’s historic McNichols Civic Center Building. Enjoy lawn games in the fresh air outside, but don’t miss the real fun inside – dance to the tunes of Colorado’s #1 bluegrass band, Thunder and Rain; enjoy regional cheeses and accompaniments; sip local craft beers and ciders; and indulge in sweet treats at the dessert/coffee bar.

 

AFTER-HOURS PARTY HOSTED BY MURRAY’S CHEESE

SPACE Gallery (400 Santa Fe Drive)
9:30 pm – midnight

Sponsored by Murray’s Cheese

 

 

FRIDAY, JULY 28

 

REGISTRATION OPEN
Plaza Registration
7:30 am – 4:00 pm

 

ALL-DAY NETWORKING SALONS

Plaza Exhibit Foyer
7:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sample products from:

  • Cheese Importers
  • FOODMatch
  • Forever Cheese/Mitica
  • Gruyère AOP
  • La Quercia
  • Yancey’s Fancy

 

SUPPORTING TRADE TABLES
Plaza Exhibit Foyer
7:30 am – 4:00 pm

A map of Supporting Trade tables and a Sponsor Passport are included with your Conference materials. Visit at least eight tables, plus the Bookstore, and have your passport stamped at each location. Return your completed passport to the Registration Desk for a chance to win a complimentary 2018 ACS Conference registration!

 

GUILD LEADERS NETWORK MEETING
Governor’s Square 16
7:30 am – 8:30 am

By Invitation

Presidents and Executive Directors of regional guilds are invited to join this open discussion of successes and challenges faced by local guilds. The newly established Guild Leaders Network will tackle issues related to non-profit operations, policies, maximizing resources, and working together to best serve the cheese community. Continental breakfast provided.

 

BOOKSTORE OPEN

Governor’s Rotunda

8:00 am – 4:00 pm

 

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
Plaza Ballroom A-E
8:00 am – 8:30 am

Breakfast sponsored by Yancey’s Fancy

Start your day with a hearty continental breakfast and grab a seat – breakfast will immediately precede the general session, 360 Degrees of Leadership: Steering Around the Icebergs with Mary Kelly, Ph.D.

 

360 Degrees of Leadership: Steering Around the Icebergs
Plaza Ballroom A-E
8:30 am – 9:30 am

  • Mary Kelly, Ph.D., Commander, U.S. Navy (ret), Productive Leaders

Great leadership is an upside down pyramid. You, as the leader, are there to support the people working for you. Great leaders build effective teams and remind managers and leaders to communicate, develop employees, listen, and strategize for optimal results. The military asks employees to sleep at work, but your organization doesn’t expect your people to work for several weeks without a day off. Learn the secrets of leadership and motivation from a 21-year Navy veteran who led multi-cultural teams all over the world in this thought-provoking, action-packed session.

 

BREAK & AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS

Governor’s Rotunda

9:30 am – 10:00 am

  • Janet Fletcher, Planet Cheese
  • Tia Keenan, Author

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS
10:00 am – 11:30 am

 

#15 – Building the Olive & Cheese Pairing Playground

Plaza Ballroom F

  • Glenn Hills, Columbia Cheese
  • Karrie Kimble, Philosophy Foods
  • Jonathan McDowell, The Aniata Cheese Company
  • David Yourd, Philosophy Foods

Cheesemongers are often tasked with building an olive selection, but how extensive is their knowledge of this specialty food staple? Come explore the history and craft of table olives, and discover the commonalities and differences with cheese. You’ll gain a framework for understanding olive texture and flavor as well as the methods for pairing them with cheese. Traditionalists be warned: the blue cheese & green olive combination will be put to the test! Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#16 – Good Cheese Gone Bad

Majestic Ballroom (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Stephanie Clark, Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • Pat Polowsky, ACS CCP®, University of Vermont
  • Dean Sommer, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research

The goal in distribution and retail is to get cheese into the mouths of customers in the best possible condition. Additionally, for those who enter the ACS Judging & Competition, they want their cheese to be received at its best. There are destructive practices within production, distribution, and retail that can turn a great cheese into junk. Learn from these renowned experts how to maintain the integrity of cheese through proper handling, storage, and shipping.

 

#17 – Survivor’s Guide to the PC Rules

Governor’s Square 14

  • Michael Kalish, Food Safety Guides
  • Charlie Kalish, Food Safety Guides

This is a crash course in the Preventive Controls (PC) for Human Food Final Rule. The session includes a summary of newly published draft guidances, current enforcement news, behind-the-scenes FDA and state activities, and a clear account of how the supply-chain program requirements will affect farms, cheesemakers, distributors, and retailers. The PC for Animal Food will also be considered for Q&A.

 

#18 – Small Ruminant Deep Dive: Goats

Governor’s Square 15

  • Ryan Andrus, Cypress Grove Cheese
  • Luis Gama, University of Lisbon
  • Mariana Marques de Almeida, Ms. J and Co.

One of the biggest challenges facing small ruminant dairies is lack of the same available genetics, genomic testing, and reproductive resources that are available for cows. The end result is that American goats are less productive than their European cousins. This session aims to illustrate to American goat producers how to utilize genomic testing to identify quality genetics, make selective breeding choices, and improve the productivity of their herd – not just increase the size.

 

#19 – How Sweet Are You? The Science of Taste

Plaza Court 8

  • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia

Before you can understand the flavors in food, you need to understand your palate. Join this panel of sensory experts and cheesemakers to find out just how differently we all experience flavors. Your thresholds for tastes on the tongue will be tested, as well as your ability to discriminate between the flavors of very similar cheeses. Then, put this knowledge to the test by tasting a variety of cheeses to determine just how sweet you are!

 

#20 – Open Networking: Young Professionals

Governor’s Square 16

Join this small group to meet fellow young professionals, share stories, and network!

 

BREAK & AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS

Plaza Exhibit Foyer

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

  • Stephanie Clark, Ph.D., Iowa State University

 

 

FDA UPDATE & LUNCH
Plaza Ballroom A-E

Lunch sponsored by zuercher & co.

  • Lunch Buffet: 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
  • FDA Update: 12:30 pm – 1:15 pm

Jenny Scott, Senior Advisor, Office of Food Safety at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition will share an update on current food safety issues impacting our industry. An FDA representative will also be on-hand to demonstrate FDA’s new Food Safety Plan Builder designed to help small food producers meet FSMA document requirements.

 

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

 

#21 – Far Out! Unconventional Cheese Pairings

Plaza Ballroom F

  • Leigh Friend, Casellula Cheese & Wine Café
  • Kirsten Jackson, It’s Not You, It’s Brie
  • Tia Keenan, Author
  • Rachel Perez, ACS CCP®, Tony’s Fine Foods

Whether by design or by complete accident, some of the most fun and exciting cheese pairings are found just outside the box…in some cases, quite a ways outside the box. From potato chips to Fruity PEBBLES™, we’ve seen some pretty creative combos. Join some of the experts who’ve pushed those flavor and texture boundaries to create unconventional pairings whether for home entertainment, self-satisfaction, competition, or restaurant service as they discuss and present some of their unique discoveries. Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#22 – Demystifying the Complex World of Cheese Crystals

Majestic Ballroom (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Paul S. Kindstedt, Ph.D., University of Vermont
  • Pat Polowsky, ACS CCP®, University of Vermont

This session examines the many types of crystals that form in ripened cheeses, the factors that cause them to form, and the various ways that crystals, both directly and indirectly, influence the visual, textural, and structural characteristics of ripened cheeses. This technical presentation centers on recent research findings from the University of Vermont, however, the content will be delivered in a very accessible format. The findings will be distilled down into practical applications that will be relevant to cheesemakers, cheesemongers, and academics alike.

 

#23 – Small Ruminant Deep Dive: Sheep

Governor’s Square 14

  • Luis Gama, University of Lisbon
  • Fernando Freire, Assafe Breeders Association
  • Miguel Rolo, Mission Cheese
  • Translator: Mariana Marques de Almeida, Ms. J and Co.

One of the biggest challenges facing small ruminant dairies is lack of the same available genetics, genomic testing, and reproductive resources that are available for cows. The end result is that American sheep are less productive than their European cousins. This session aims to illustrate to American sheep producers how to utilize genomic testing to identify quality genetics, make selective breeding choices, and improve the productivity of their flock – not just increase its size.

 

#24 – Beer, A Discussion about Menus, Relationships, Distribution, and Training

Governor’s Square 15

  • Adam Dulye, Brewers Association

Take a look at your menu. Is there room for improvement? Today’s operator often overlooks the hardest working staff member, the menu. Your menu is the first thing everyone sees and it is where they focus most of their time and attention. Are you successfully communicating your brand? Are you telling your story through your menu? Is your menu supported by in-depth training and strong relationships to bring the best to your guest? Dive deep into what it takes to have your menu increase your productivity and profitability, and find out what needs to happen behind the scenes to support the menu.

 

#25 – The Speak Easy

Savoy (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Session Host/Moderator: Bob Wills, Cedar Grove Cheese

In true speakeasy fashion, this is an off-the-beaten-track place for members to speak, mingle, and explore with fellow Conference-goers in an easy and laidback forum. This is a space where bawdy honesty, brash predictions, bold undertakings, passionate rants and raves, and revealed vulnerability and fears coalesce. Feel strongly about something? Come here to talk about it. Have a poem or song that you’ve recently written? Show up and share your passion. Are you known as an “expert” amongst your friends? Offer your expertise up to those in attendance. Join members in this creative space to Speak Easy and let your (moon)shine! Cash bar available.

 

#26 – Open Networking: Independent Retailers

Governor’s Square 16

  • Facilitator: Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s Delicatessen

Join this small group to discuss the unique challenges that face independent retailers, and business philosophies and tools that can lead to success.

 

#27 – Testing the ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test

Columbine (Tower Building, Terrace Level)

By Invitation

Cheese professionals along the supply chain are called upon daily to assess and evaluate cheese and provide meaningful sensory information. Communication at times must be technical, such as when corresponding with cheesemakers about a quality concern, and at times it must be aesthetic, such as when conversing with a customer about the attributes and merits of a specific cheese.

A new sensory exam (The T.A.S.T.E. Test™ – Technical, Aesthetic, Sensory, Tasting Evaluation) is currently under development by ACS, and its goal is to measure cheese professionals’ ability to evaluate cheese using rigorous standards, definitions, and vocabulary. This new program will promote a standardized approach to communicating about the sensory and organoleptic aspects of cheese. Those individuals invited to participate in this preliminary test run will get a taste of what’s in store when it launches in 2018, and provide feedback to shape the final product.

 

BREAK & AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS

Governor’s Rotunda

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

  • Louella Hill, The Milk Maid
  • Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s Delicatessen

 

2017 AWARDS CEREMONY
Plaza Ballroom A-E

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Sponsored by Gourmet Foods International

Be a part of the excitement as this year’s winners are announced and recognized for their expert craftsmanship! Cash bar opens at 4:00 pm outside the Plaza Ballroom. For those who aren’t able to experience the excitement of the Awards Ceremony in-person, a live stream will be available at www.cheesesociety.org.

 

2017 AWARDS RECEPTION: THE CHEF AND THE CHEESEMAKER

Plaza Ballroom Lobby

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

 Join your friends and colleagues for a toast to celebrate ACS’s 2017 winning cheeses and cheesemakers! Enjoy tasty bites made fresh by local Denver chefs featuring award-winning Wisconsin cheese.

 

ROCK IN RINO

8:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Infinite Monkey Theorem
3200 Larimer Street

Sponsored by 34 Degrees

Following the Awards Reception, break out some 80s neon and head to one of Denver’s hottest neighborhoods – River North (aka RiNo), just minutes from downtown. 34 Degrees, and friends from Emmi Roth, have a great night in store for you. Infinite Monkey Theorem offers a unique urban winery experience that perfectly complements the night’s sweet and savory pairings of cheese and crisps.  Get ready to shake it on the dance floor to live 80s beats at this after-hours party.  3200 Larimer St, Denver.

SATURDAY, JULY 29

THE CHEESELETES 5K FUN RUN

Creek Front Park – Cherry Creek Bike Path – Platte River Trails (1300 Larimer Street)
7:30 am – 9:30 am

Start your day by running or walking alongside fellow early birds at the second annual Cheeseletes 5k! All monies collected from registration will benefit the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award and the American Cheese Education Foundation. It’s not too late to sign up! Inquire at the Registration Desk, and lace up those sneakers!

 

REGISTRATION OPEN
Plaza Registration
8:30 am – 4:00 pm

 

ALL-DAY NETWORKING SALONS

Plaza Exhibit Foyer
8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sample products from:

  • DPI Specialty Foods
  • Long Clawson Dairy
  • Ornua

 

SUPPORTING TRADE TABLES
Plaza Exhibit Foyer
8:30 am – 4:00 pm

A map of Supporting Trade tables and a Sponsor Passport are included with your Conference materials. Visit at least eight tables, plus the Bookstore, and have your passport stamped at each location. Return your completed passport to the Registration Desk for a chance to win a complimentary 2018 ACS Conference registration!

 

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

9:00 am – 10:30 am

 

#28 – I Got 99 Problems, But a Bicyclic Monoterpenoid Ain’t One

Plaza Ballroom F

  • Molly Browne, ACS CCP®, Vermont Creamery
  • Matthew Gill, THCheese

Terpenes are a family of naturally occurring aroma compounds found in resinous plants, such as grasses, hops, citrus fruits, and cannabis. They also happen to play a role in the complex flavor development of many cheeses. Whereas the cannabis industry has studied terpenes extensively, less attention has been paid thus far in the cheese world. By tuning into the science and methods employed in terpene research by the canna-world, we stand to gain a deeper understanding of our own industry. Let these experts be your terpene tour guides to explore the aromatic affinities between terpene laden cheeses and the foods and beverages that enhance them. Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#29 – Self Starter: Developing and Harnessing Your Own Microbes

Governor’s Square 14

  • Peter Dixon, Parish Hill Creamery
  • Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm
  • Rachel Schaal, Parish Hill Creamery
  • Moderator: Thomas Perry, Shelburne Farms

Acceptance of the idea of terroir has become more common in American cheesemaking. Join these Vermont cheesemakers to learn how they’re expressing qualities unique to their land and milk by harnessing microbes found close to home. Explore the current state of microbial affairs as it pertains to cheese and how different producers are taking different approaches to making and isolating unique cultures for their cheesemaking operations.

 

#30 – Expand Your Brand with Yogurt

Governor’s Square 15

  • Dave Potter, Dairy Connection, Inc.

Yogurt has demonstrated significant growth and popularity with U.S. consumers over the past decade. A growing number of farmstead and smaller dairy processors are now finding success in this market category. In this presentation, learn about the science and processing techniques of yogurt types in a concise but thorough overview.

 

#31 – The Evolution of Artisan Cheese in America

Majestic Ballroom (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Allison Hooper, Vermont Creamery
  • Mary Keehn, Cypress Grove Cheese
  • Judith Schad, Capriole
  • Moderator: Rachel Perez, ACS CCP®, Tony’s Fine Foods

This talented triumvirate started making artisan goat cheeses in the United States over 30 years ago. Since then, the landscape of the cheese business in general, and each of their businesses, has changed dramatically. In this session, we will explore the evolution of the artisan cheese business through the eyes of these early pioneers: from production to logistics to marketing and beyond. How have these industry icons created successful brands and businesses that evolved from small niche production to brands that are now found nationwide?

 

#32 – How Sweet Are You? The Science of Taste

Plaza Court 8

  • Russell Smith, Dairy Australia

Before you can understand the flavors in food, you need to understand your palate. Join sensory expert Russel Smith to find out just how differently we all experience flavors. Your thresholds for tastes on the tongue will be tested, as well as your ability to discriminate between the flavors of very similar cheeses. Then, put this knowledge to the test by tasting a variety of cheeses to determine just how sweet you are! Ticket required; space is limited.

 

BOOKSTORE OPEN

Governor’s Rotunda

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

 

BREAK & AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS

Governor’s Rotunda

10:30 am – 11:00 am

  • Gordon Edgar, Rainbow Grocery Co-Op
  • Kirstin Jackson, “It’s Not You, It’s Brie”

 

MEDIA BRIEFING

Plaza Court 2

10:30 am – 11:00 am

Open to credentialed media.

 

BRUNCH OF CHAMPIONS

Plaza Ballroom A-E

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sponsored by Central Market

Sample yogurts, butters, cultured dairy products, and fresh unripened cheeses from the 2017 ACS Judging & Competition. Winners will be highlighted, and you’ll have a chance to enjoy these delicious products with a variety of baked goods, granolas, breads, salads, and condiments. This is truly a Brunch of Champions, with a nod to ACS’s 2017 winners!

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm

 

#33 – e-Commerce and the Cheese Shop: Where Artisanal Meets Digital

Majestic Ballroom (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Elizabeth Chubbuck, Murray’s Cheese
  • Louise Converse, Artisan Cheese Company
  • Mo Frechette, Zingerman’s Mail Order
  • Carolyn Stromberg, Righteous Cheese

With web and mobile app technological advances happening faster than we ever imagined, and Amazon itself getting into the grocery business, it’s a given that eCommerce is the future of most retail sales in America. So how does a thriving brick-and-mortar cheese and specialty foods shop best initiate and grow its online sales presence and successfully integrate eCommerce into its offerings? Learn from a range of industry experts – from large, titans of gourmet eCommerce to small, independent cheese shop owners – to keep your artisan shop growing in the digital age. We’ll discuss details such as website management; online selection, pricing, and margins; getting the word out; operations and fulfillment; common pitfalls; and overall best practices. Learn if eCommerce is right for your business and gather the knowledge to design a strategy for success.

 

#34 – Tools to Improve Cheese Consistency & Troubleshooting

Governor’s Square 14

  • Kerry E. Kaylegian, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
  • Lisa Caprera, Pennsylvania State University

Inherent variations in milk composition, processing, and environmental conditions in cheesemaking can lead to inconsistent and poor quality cheese. The USDA Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program funded a research project at Penn State to develop freely available tools and procedures for farmstead and small-scale cheesemakers to improve the consistency of their cheese. Guidelines, document templates, and spreadsheet templates were developed to assess cheese for measurable sensory and compositional factors, routine monitoring of key parameters in the cheesemaking process, and for evaluating the data to improve cheese consistency. The first part of this session will discuss the lessons learned during the research and development of these tools. The second part of this session will be a demonstration of how to assess a cheese and the cheesemaking process for measurable parameters, set up a sensory evaluation program, routinely monitor important cheesemaking parameters and cheese composition, how to use this data to improve cheese consistency, and how to troubleshoot problems.

 

#35 – Grassfed Dairy: a Simple Notion That Has Become Increasingly Complex

Governor’s Square 15

  • Ann Colonna, Food Innovation Center, Oregon State University
  • Bill Stephenson, DPI Specialty Foods
  • Tim Joseph, Maple Hill Dairy

What exactly is grass? When is “a cow” not just a cow? How have things reached a point that we’re driven to ask such seemingly simple questions, and what is in the consumer’s mind when they see “grassfed” marketing slogans associated with cheese? Denver’s history, and that of much of the western United States, is irrevocably linked to the grassy plains that have long sustained ruminant animals in support of its burgeoning population. This session will explore what it means to be grassfed through the various lenses of the dairy industry (past and present), certifying bodies, and the consumer.

 

#36 – American Affineurs

Vail (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Benton Brown, Crown Finish Caves, LLC
  • Vince Razionale, Grafton Village Cheese Company
  • David Rogers, LaClare Farms
  • Moderator: Eric Meredith, Neal’s Yard Dairy

Regional affinage, well established in European cheesemaking, is starting to grow in popularity on this side of the Atlantic. Yet many American cheesemakers know little about what a partnership with an affineur can do for their business, let alone what to expect from the process of such a joint partnership.  Join this panel of esteemed American affineurs to better understand this trend, its opportunities and challenges, and the options that are available for cheesemakers looking to partner with an affineur.

 

#37 – Heritage Dairy Breeds in Traditional and Modern Cheesemaking

Savoy (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Sam Frank, 2016 DZTA Scholarship Recipient

Join Sam Frank, the 2016 Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DTZA) recipient, in exploring heritage dairy breed animals and their use in cheesemaking. Sam will share his experiences from his travels in Europe and his discoveries regarding various breeds and their utilization in the production of Old World and New World cheeses in Europe and the US. And, DZTA’s 2017 scholarship recipient will be announced!

 

#38 – Open Networking: Social Media Bloggers

Governor’s Square 16

  • Facilitator: Tenaya Darlington, Madame Fromage

Join this small group to meet fellow social media bloggers, share stories, and network!

 

 

BREAK & AUTHOR BOOK SIGNINGS

Governor’s Rotunda

1:45 pm – 2:15 pm

  • Elena Santogade, ACS CCP®, Grafton Village Cheese Company

 

 

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

 

#39 – Enjoying Cheese with Chocolate and Beer

Plaza Ballroom F

  • Adam Dick, Dick Taylor Chocolate
  • Kevin Crompton, Epic Brewing Co.
  • Andy Fitzgerrell, ACS CCP®, KeHE Distributors

The enjoyment of cheese with chocolate is often foreign territory for the customer base of many cheese counters. Even less explored is the pairing of chocolate with beer. Together, we’ll delve into the pairing of both chocolate and beer with a variety of cheeses. We will stitch these seemingly disparate delights together to create a trifecta of deliciousness which will expand your pairing intuition and elevate your cheese board potential to new heights! Ticket required; space is limited.

 

#40 – Obsalim: How the animals tell you about their nutrition

Majestic Ballroom (Tower Building, Majestic Level)

  • Edward De Beukelaer, Obsalim

Obsalim is the brainchild of a French veterinarian named Bruno Giboudeau. Little by little, he discovered that by observing changes in animal behavior one can know exactly what is happening in the rumen. Years of trials have grown into an extremely reliable technique that puts the ruminants at the center of running your farm. The application of the technique will allow you to fine-tune the management and feeding of your animals for optimal transformation of their ration (roughage) leading to a reduction in disease, improvement in economy, and better control over cheese production. Learning Obsalim is like learning to understand the language of the rumen. The technique has become very popular in France and is gaining interest from the scientific community all over the world. Session attendees will be introduced to the Obsalim method and its extraordinary benefits through an exercise which will identify key factors in herd rumen health and provide insights into proper corrective measures.

 

#41 – Pay to Stay: Attracting and Retaining Cheesemongers for Independent Retailers

Governor’s Square 14

  • Sascha Anderson, Cheesemongers of Santa Fe
  • Laura Downey, Fairfield Cheese Company
  • Gordon Edgar, Rainbow Grocery Coop

Attracting, hiring, and retaining passionate, hardworking talent can be a challenge for small retailers with limited resources. Once you’ve found that ideal person with good service skills, a passion for cheese, and a great work ethic, how do you keep and grow them? Many factors come into play throughout the staffing lifecycle, and one that is beyond a business owner’s control is that employees may decide to leave one counter for another, or simply leave the cheese business altogether. Join this dynamic panel to discuss their philosophies on staffing, the unique struggles of this industry, and how to creatively compete in our growing market to help ease these challenges.

 

#42 – Trends in Micro-Brewing Predicting Trends in Artisan Cheese

Governor’s Square 15

  • Jeff Jirik, Caves of Faribault / Prairie Farms
  • Greg O’Neill, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
  • Jason Sobocinski, Caseus Fromagerie Bistro / Black Hog Brewing Co.
  • Moderator: Greg Hardin, Gourmet Foods International

Beer and cheese are often seen together at parties, at tastings, and in retail displays. The histories of these two fermented foods are also closely intertwined with culture and civilization. While these points may be commonly accepted in the cheese and beer communities, how do the two industries coincide today in the United States? Where beer goes, does cheese follow? What does a healthy micro-brew industry mean for the local cheese industry? Taking a look at some sample communities and data from the last few decades, we can see many parallels between the two industries. So with that information, can we make market predictions for cheese based on trends in micro-brewing?

 

#43 – Open Networking: Traditional Crafters

Governor’s Square 16

  • Facilitator: Caroline Hostettler, Quality Cheese

Cheesemaking is a traditional craft – and many of us who make cheese have a passion for other traditional crafts, from fiber crafts and knitting to leatherwork and woodcarving. Meet fellow cheese folks who craft as a hobby, and take part in a fun crafting activity.

 

FESTIVAL OF CHEESE & CHEESE SALE

Colorado Convention Center, Hall D (700 14th Street)

  • 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm       Media Preview (Media Credentials Required)
  • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm       Members-Only Admission
  • 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm       General Admission

Sample nearly 2,000 artisan and specialty cheeses, alongside gourmet foods and Colorado beer and cider at this annual cheese extravaganza! Admission is included for full Conference registrants and Saturday Day Pass holders. Additional tickets are available at the door of the event for $55 for guests of ACS members, and $65 for the general public.

 

ANNUAL CHEESE SALE

Support the American Cheese Education Foundation

Score a bargain on cheeses that scored big in the largest Judging & Competition in ACS history! Buy some of the best cheeses made in North America at great prices as you exit the Festival of Cheese. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit American Cheese Education Foundation (www.cheesefoundation.org), which supports ACS’s year-round education efforts, member webinars, scholarships, and industry research.