Burt’s Cheese started out life in January 2009 in Altrincham, Cheshire. It was a career in the dairy industry, that inspired Claire Burt to follow her passion for cheese-making. It started as a hobby on her kitchen table, but after winning Gold for Burt’s Blue Cheese at the International Cheese Show – Nantwich 2010, she decided to pursue the business full-time.
Burt’s Cheese is now based near Knutsford, Cheshire, and under the skill and patience of Claire Burt and Cheese- Maker Tom Partridge produces a range of award winning Cheeses. We use single herd milk from Halton Farm on the Rhode Hall Estate. Burt’s Cheese was very proud recently to be named by the Observer Food Monthly as Best Producer.
We are very fortunate to use some of Cheshire finest milk in making our cheese. Karen and Tom at Halton Farm on the Rhode Hall Estate, are second generation, Tom’s father came to the estate back in 1968. They now have a cross breed herd, which includes the Montbéliarde, a French breed of cow whose milk is renowned for its cheese-making properties. We use their morning on the same day, delivered to us in small stainless tanks. Time and care is invested in hand crafting each and every cheese into either a mini truckle or a larger wheel.
Our Burt’s Blue cheese is our flagship cheese, a soft mould ripened blue cheese. The ‘mouldy coat’ of each cheese can vary seasonally from darker ‘green and blues’ to paler ‘grey and blues’ (and its all edible – incase you were wondering!). Each cheese is pierced by hand during the ripening process to encourage and allow the growth of mild blue veins through the paste. These blotches and punctures of blue throughout give the cheese its character and flavour. The younger cheese has more resistance to the touch and the flavours are more piquant and upfront, as the cheese matures, the flavours become more rounded and the resistance gives ways to a much softer texture.
Our Drunken Burt starts out life in much the way same as Burt’s Blue. The milk is inoculated with the Penicillium Roqueforti (blue mould) which is allowed to developed on the surface of the cheese.However, the cheese isn’t pierced during ripening so doesn’t develop the blue veins as the Burt’s Blue cheese would. (The paste may occasionally develop small pockets blue). Instead the cheese is ‘washed’ in Gwatkin’s Cider, this process encourages other bacteria to develop on the surface. The result is a surface mould that tends to be paler, often ‘sandy’ in colour. The younger cheese will have a chalky centre (or paste) which carries with it the fresh ‘apple’ acidity from the cider. As the cheese matures the acidity softens and the flavours become more rounded and subtle, the cider ‘notes’ become less ‘appley’ and more ‘oaky’ from the aged cider barrels. The paste softens to become silky smooth.
Something we love as cheese makers is we are always learning… The expression ‘Cheese never sleeps’ is so true, cheese is always evolving and so do we as cheese makers. Over the years we’ve enjoyed experimenting and developing new cheeses, such as the DiVine, Thom, Blu2, Burt’s Blanc, Burt’s smoked and our Fresh Curd. We make these on a limited basis throughout the year, and have recently started our Monthly makers Box to showcase these.
Over the years we’ve won Gold Awards at the British Cheese Awards, the Artisan Cheese Awards, Yorkshire Show, and the International Cheese Awards (Nantwich).
We are also very proud to have been named as the Observers Food Monthly Best Producer.