Conference Tours

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    On Wednesday July 31, ACS conference attendees may choose one of five all-day tours and get a backstage pass to America’s Dairyland. Tour a cheese plant, walk a dairy barn, enjoy lunch at a local tavern, and most importantly: taste award-winning Wisconsin cheese all day long. These customized, small-group tours depart Madison at 7:45 a.m. and return to Madison by 5:00 p.m. Each tour is limited to 30 people, allowing attendees to experience places that most people never see, with time for personal conversations with cheesemakers at an enjoyable pace.

    Tour registration will take place as part of the conference registration process, which begins on May 6. Pricing, which is to be announced, will include transportation via an air-conditioned motor coach, lunch, all tours, and tastings at each stop.

    In addition, we are excited to launch the Wisconsin Cheesemaker Pub Crawl on Wednesday, July 31! Look for more details below.

    Tour A:  Classic Wisconsin Cheesemaker Tour ($85)

    If this is your first trip to Wisconsin cheese country, this tour has your name written all over it. First stop: Roelli Cheese in Shullsburg, where fourth generation cheesemaker Chris Roelli crafts and ages a range of American Originals in his new aging cellars. After a tour and tasting, you’ll motor up the road to historic Hook’s Cheese in Mineral Point, where the husband and wife duo of Tony and Julie Hook have been crafting super-aged cheddars and original blues for decades. Then head to scenic Bleu Mont Dairy and visit Willi Lehner, Wisconsin’s off-the-grid rock star cheesemaker, and enjoy a personal tour of his man-made underground cave and lunch on the farm. Last stop: a craft beer tasting at The Grumpy Troll in Mt. Horeb, one of Wisconsin’s 75 craft breweries.

    1. Roelli Cheese 15982 Wisconsin 11, Shullsburg, WI 535861
    2. Hook’s Cheese  320 Commerce St, Mineral Point, WI 53565
    3. Bleu Mont Dairy 3480 County F, Blue Mounds, Wi 53517
    4. Grumpy Troll  105 South 2nd St, Mt Horeb, WI 53572

    Tour B: Wisconsin Beer and Cheese, Please ($85)

    Beer and cheese: as the two classic icons of America’s Dairyland (not counting the Green Bay Packers), this tour showcases the best of Wisconsin brew and cheese. Start your day with a tour at historic Widmer’s Cheese Cellars in tiny Theresa, where Master Cheesemaker Joe Widmer still presses the whey out of his Old World Brick cheese using bricks belonging to his grandfather. Then head to Tyranena Brewing Company for a tour and custom Wisconsin cheese and beer pairing. After lunch, you’ll drive to Sassy Cow Creamery, a farmstead milk bottling and ice cream facility, for a tour and tasting of Sassy Cow products and Cesar’s Cheese, followed by a farm tour (Prepare to meet an authentic Wisconsin dairy cow up close and personal)! Finally, end the day with a tour and craft beer tasting at Ale Asylum Brewery, an award-winning microbrewery in Madison.

    1. Widmer Cheese 214 West Henni St  Theresa , WI 53091
    2. Tyranena Brewing Company 1025 Owen St  Lake Mils, WI 53551
    3. Sassy Cow Creamery  4192 Bristol Rd, Columbus, WI 53925
    4. Ale Asylum Brewery  2001 Pankratz St Madison, WI 53704

    Tour C: Wisconsin Cheese, Wine and Spirits, Oh My! ($85)

    This tour of southern Wisconsin is chock full of superstars: you’ll meet two Master Cheesemakers, a master French winemaker, and the brains behind the largest craft distillery in Wisconsin. Start your day with a tour and tasting at Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, where Master Cheesemaker Bob Wills crafts a variety of Wisconsin cheeses. It is one of the only cheese plants in America treating waste water with a “Living Machine.” Then motor to Carr Valley Cheese store in Sauk City for lunch in the Culinary Center and chat with Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook. After lunch, you’ll cross the expansive bridge over the Wisconsin River to the valley of oaks and grapevines, home to beautiful Wollersheim Winery, where French winemaker Philippe Coquard creates a wide range of award-winning Wisconsin wines. Finish the day at Death’s Door Spirits in Middleton, with a tour and tasting of this craft distillery’s vodka, gin and whisky.

    1. Cedar Grove Cheese  Mill Rd  Plain, WI 53577
    2. Carr Valley Cheese  828 Phillips Blvd  Sauk City, WI 53583
    3. Wollersheim Winery  7876 Hwy 188 Prairie du Sac, WI 53578
    4. Death’s Door Spirits 2220 Eagle Drive Middleton, WI 53562

    Tour D: Exploring Wisconsin’s Driftless Sheep and Goat Dairies ($85)

    This tour highlights the best of Wisconsin’s famous Driftless region: a span of virgin land that glaciers never touched, leaving intact Wisconsin’s wooded hills and lush deep valleys. You’ll start the day with a tour and tasting at charming Dreamfarm in Cross Plains, where cheesemaker Diana Murphy crafts fresh and aged goat’s milk cheeses using the milk of her pastured goats. After saying goodbye to Ollie the farm dog, motor west to Hidden Springs Creamery and visit cheesemaker Brenda Jensen’s farmstead creamery, home to a wide array of award-winning sheep’s milk cheeses. Enjoy lunch on the farm with a backdrop of Amish farm neighbors and wooden fences. Afterward, motor to nearby Nordic Creamery, nestled in the hills among Norwegian settled-farms in the heart of Vernon County for a tour and tasting of Al Bekkum’s goat and cow’s milk cheeses and butters.

    1. Dreamfarm  8877 Table Bluff Rd  Cross Plains, WI 53528
    2. Hidden Springs Creamery  Hansen Rd  Westby, WI  54667
    3. Nordic Creamery  Langaard Lane  Westby, Wi 54667

    Tour E:  The Scenic Wisconsin Cheese Experience ($85)

    Start your tour visiting the scenic rolling hills of Green County, home to more dairy cows and cheese plants than any other county in the nation. Enjoy a tour and tasting with Master Cheesemaker Myron Olson at Chalet Cheese Cooperative, the only factory in North America still crafting authentic Limburger, home to stinky bricks of “working man’s cheese.” Then motor to Emmi Roth USA, where cheesemakers refine traditional recipes handed down through the centuries. You’ll tour the facility’s awe-inspiring cheese cellars and relax for a legendary fondue lunch and guided tasting in the Culinary Education Center. In the afternoon, travel to Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese near Waterloo for an educational dairy farm and creamery tour, ending with an elegant cheese tasting in the Crave’s Tasting Room. Come hungry, leave happy!

    1. Chalet Cheese Cooperative  N4858 Highway N  Monroe, WI 53566
    2. Emmi-Roth USA  657 Second St Monroe, WI 53566
    3. Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese  W11555 Torpy Rd Waterloo, WI 53594

    Wisconsin Cheesemaker Pub Crawl ($10)

    Wednesday, July 31
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Ongoing)

    To kick off ACS’s 30th Anniversary Conference in Madison, join Wisconsin cheesemakers at five of downtown Madison’s favorite pubs. The pubs are located within walking distance of one another, and of ACS conference hotels. They’ll offer special prices on libations, plus great menu items. More than fifteen Wisconsin cheesemakers have selected their favorite cheese pairings, and they’ll be waiting to meet you and have some fun! Deep fried cheese curds, anyone?

    Space is limited, and advance registration is required. Attendees will receive an official Pub Crawl cap, passport, and map. Get your Pub Crawl passport stamped or signed by all of the participating cheesemakers, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $150 discount on your 2014 ACS Conference registration!