The first wheel of Northern Lights Blue Cheese was born in the fall of 2005. The idea to make a test batch first came up when cheese maker Joe Sherman and his long time friend Bill were together one evening. It had been about a year and a half since Joe had last made blue cheese, and the two friends decided that it was time to make a batch and see just how good this cheese was that Joe was talking about.
Joe's cheese making career dates back to the early 80's when he was only 19. He was very fortunate to have worked in the facility where American Blue Cheese was first invented long ago. In the early years of his career, Joe worked in every aspect of the cheese making operation, from the "Make Room" and "Fluid Milk Intake," to the "Salt Room," "Packaging," 'Shipping and Receiving" and "Clean-up and Sanitation." Joe's career led him to become lead cheese maker at an early age and then finally into management where he supervised production crews in the various departments within the facility.
Today, Joe makes each batch of Northern Lights Blue Cheese using only the freshest natural ingredients available. Each batch is hand-crafted in small 100-wheel batches from the fresh unpasteurized milk of a local herd of Brown Swiss cows. The cows are allowed to graze on pasture year round, which helps to create the rich, creamy texture and delicious, butter flavor you'll find in the cheese. The Penicillium roqueforti used, which produces the beautiful blue marbling in Joe's cheese, is derived from a gluten-free source, allowing his blue cheese to be 100% gluten free. The cheese is then aged for a minimum of 4 month, which is much longer than regular blues and contributes to its rich, creamy texture and peppery taste.
These ingredients and the small batches, each made by hand with TLC, are what give Northern Lights its distinct quality and flavor.