Arena Cheese’s Spring Green Colby won Best of Class at the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest. Team Arena, led by Cheesemaker Bill Hanson, will be proud to accept the medal and blue ribbon at the awards banquet to recognize this team’s continual striving for excellence. “We are honored to be recognized as the best among so many fine cheesemakers who make Colby. We’ve been making authentic Colby cheese traditionally for over 15 years,” stated Bill Hanson, a Wisconsin cheesemaker for over 25 years. The World Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical evaluation of cheese and butter in the world. This year, 2,615 entries from 22 countries were entered into 90 categories.
The story of Colby Cheese is one of American ingenuity and abundance of quality ingredients. In 1885, a cheesemaker by the name of Joseph P. Steinwand in the Wisconsin town of Colby was working on a cow’s milk Cheddar cheese in his creamery. He experimented by washing his curds in cold water. This slight change in the cheese making process created a new cheese that was like Cheddar but creamier, softer and with a milder, more buttery flavor…the cheese we now enjoy as Colby.
Spring Green Colby cheese, crafted in Arena, Wisc. by Arena Cheese, garnered another high honor by being re-certified for an additional year under the BRC Global Food Standards guidelines with an A rating, the highest possible, as part of the Global Food Safety initiative. “As retailers and consumers are demanding more safety in the food we eat, Arena Cheese is proud to be working at the very highest standards and for being acknowledged for this effort,” says Cheesemaker Bill Hanson.
Arena has earned 13 national awards since 2002 and took home an award this year for Fresh Cheddar Curds in addition to the Best in Class award earned by the Spring Green Colby. In total, 257 cheese companies entered 1,794 different products for judging.
Arena Cheese is one of Wisconsin’s oldest cheese plants. This creamery is located in the Wisconsin River Valley within the lush, green rolling hills of the Spring Green area, made famous by visionary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright as well as by Arena’s delicious cheeses. Arena Cheese also makes deli horn mild Gouda, a natural hardwood Smoked Gouda and longhorn and deli horns of Colby/Jack.