By SDCN Editor
San Diego, CA–San Diego-based cheese maker, CheeseSmith Artisan Creamery, received a Silver Medal at the American Cheese Society Award Ceremony held in Portland, Oregon on July 21.
The contest evaluated 1,387 entries submitted by 196 cheese companies. CheeseSmith is located within San Diego’s iconic brewery, AleSmith Brewing Company, with both companies owned by Peter Zien.
The winning cheese was a Persian Lime and Chili Pepper Cheese Curd made by Zien. This was his first time entering a professional cheese contest. “To say that I’m surprised would be an understatement! AleSmith has won its’ share of national and international awards through the years, and this first honor for my little creamery is certainly special,” says owner, Peter Zien. “I’m thrilled that CheeseSmith is the first San Diego-based creamery to earn a medal at the American Cheese Society National Competition.”
CheeseSmith Artisan Creamery opened in 2018 and is located at the rear part of AleSmith’s expansive 109,000-square-foot brewing facility in Miramar. The concept of a creamery located within a brewery started decades earlier with the spent grain from brewing being given to local farmers, some raising goats, and cows, as a feed supplement. Many times the farmers would share fresh goat and cow milk with Peter, who expanded his interest in beer to the realm of cheese and cheese making.
Zien’s early amateur success in cheesemaking culminated in multiple awards including a Best of Show at the San Diego County Fair in 2014. He increased his knowledge in cheesemaking by attending classes and programs at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Dairy Institute from 2009 to 2017.
Various cheese offerings can be purchased to-go or enjoyed on-site at the AleSmith Tasting Room and Gift Shop located at 9990 AleSmith Court in San Diego. Also, cheese and beer pairing events featuring CheeseSmith and AleSmith are held at the brewery.