A family tradition…
Growing up over Union Star cheese factory near Fremont, Wisconsin, Jon Metzig started helping out in the family cheese plant at seven years old. During his senior year of high school, he missed a week of classes to take a cheese-making course at the University of Wisconsin, went on to take the state cheesemaker license test, passed, and became one of the youngest licensed cheesemakers in Wisconsin.
There are less than 100 certified master cheesemakers in Wisconsin. Our family has two of them. With ingredients sourced from the finest local dairy farms, the Willow Creek Creamery crafts the most authentically Wisconsin cheese you will taste. Beware: you'll never again be wholly satisfied by anything less the good stuff.
We use high-quality, local milk and make fresh cheese products 5 days a week. Tours are always free - stop by at any time during our tour hours.
Fantastic cheese! It's fun to watch them make it if you get there first thing in the morning. The cheese curds are so fresh they squeak when you bite them. I've never seen more varieties of Muenster cheese, but the extra sharp white cheddar is my favorite.- Brent Nicklas
Cheese is made by curdling pasteurized milk using a combination of rennet and “good” bacteria. Bacteria acidify the milk and help to define the texture and flavor of the cheese. Different styles and flavors of cheese form using milk with different levels of butterfat, different kinds of “good bacteria” and additional ingredients, and the aging conditions (time, temperature, humidity, etc.) used. For a few kinds of cheese, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses, however, are acidified by “good bacteria,” which turn milk sugars into lactic acid. Curdling is completed by adding an enzyme mixture called “rennet.” Once it is finished, it can be formed into differently sized wheels or bars for aging. Cheeses may also be dipped in wax for preservation.
Reading how cheese is made is good - Seeing the cheesemaking process in person is priceless!
If you’re interested in learning about the cheesemaking process, Willow Creek Cheese offers free factory tours. Groups less than 10 persons do not need to schedule in advance. Taste some of our numerous cheese products made fresh right before your eyes before you buy. Tours are offered Monday and Wednesday beginning at 9:00 AM. Each tour lasts for approximately 30 minutes so feel free to show up at any time between 9:00 and 9:30 AM. We look forward to seeing you at Willow Creek Cheese!