|Master Cheesemaker Mike Brennenstuhl|
A master cheesemaker who 11 years ago raised the bar for Wisconsin artisan blue cheese is about to do the same with a line of Brennenstuhl original cheeses that will incorporate the heritage of the communities in Door County.
Mike Brennenstuhl is slated to start making cheese in March at Door Artisan Cheese Company, a brand-new 18,000-foot facility in Egg Harbor. The facility includes a cheesemaking plant, specialty food retail shop called Cave Market and a casual fine-dining restaurant called Glacier Ledge that will open to the public in the spring.
Under Mike’s leadership, the facility will produce both traditional Wisconsin cheeses and original-recipe creations. Three man-made cellars on the property’s lower level will be utilized for aging cheeses. The aging “caves” will be the first of their kind in Door County.
“It’s been my dream for years to open up my own facility in Door County,” says Mike, whose title includes both CEO and president. “My career has deep roots in Wisconsin cheesemaking, and it’s an honor to bring such a versatile facility and cheesemaking excellence to Northeastern Wisconsin.”
Most of Door Artisan Cheese Company’s cheeses will be made with cow’s milk, and the company has partnered with Red Barn Family Farms in Appleton to source milk from its group of small family dairy farms annually certified by the American Humane Association.
Cheeses made on site as well as other American cheeses and imports will be available for tasting and purchase in its Cave Market. The specialty retail space will also stock local and specialty ingredients and feature a wine, craft beer and charcuterie bar for tasting. Adjacent to the cheesemaking plant, guests can observe cheesemakers through a large viewing window in the market. At Glacier Ledge, guests can expect a casual fine dining experience with a seasonal menu packed with local ingredients and expert culinary preparation.
“Ultimately, we want Door Artisan Cheese to provide a three-fold culinary experience that educates, engages and excites our guests,” says Mary Beth Hill, general manager for the project, and a long-time friend of Wisconsin artisan cheese. “Wisconsin cheese has such a rich history, and we want to celebrate that in the products we sell and menus we write.”