David & Anne Brown founded Milawa Cheese Company in the historic Milawa Butter Factory in 1988, and then they set out to make delicious Australian farmhouse cheeses inspired by European methods.
After a lengthily discussion with ‘the Godfather or cheese’, Richard Thomas, and the desire to live in a small rural community with a slower pace of life, David & Anne both made the decision to leave their jobs with the vision of creating one of the best cheese factories in Australia.
In North East Victoria, they stumbled across and old Butter Factory which was perfect for their venture. They purchased it at auction in June, 1988 and production began.
“We converted the old gumboot store into living quarters for the family. Cheese makers have to live close to the factory to check on cheese, or rather in Australia, on the temperature requirements. It gets very hot in the summer, and freezing at times in winter, so the continual hum of the refrigeration units became the background to our lives”.
There was no hesitation about the first cheese they wanted to make – Blue. A blue unlike any currently then being made in Australia. After many years, trials and self belief, Milawa Blue was born. Next followed a range of washed rind cheeses: King River Gold and Milawa Gold, each developed by adapting “recipes” to suit their cheesemaking conditions, milk, climate, etc.
30 years on Milawa Cheese Company offers a wide variety of cow’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses. Production is run by their daughter Ceridwen Brown and the facility is recognised in the Lonely Planet Guide to Australia as “an absolute must stop in the Milawa Gourmet region. It excels at soft and washed rind cheeses.”