Did you know that the Crowley Cheese Company is the oldest indigenous manufacturer of cheese in the United States? The factory was built in Mt Holly, Vermont in 1882, and it’s delicious dairy began to reach the shores of Maine and the streets of Manhattan soon after. Now visitors can take a Crowley Cheese factory tour and watch as the award-winning cheese is made by hand – just as it was over a hundred years ago. Read on for details!
Experience a Crowley Cheese Factory Tour
1. Learn the History
The Crowley Cheese Company was founded by Winfield Crowley and was owned by the family for 85 years. The Crowley’s had already begun making cheese at their farm but wanted a place to store surplus milk from other area farmers. The milk would then be turned into cheese and sold at the Healdville, VT railroad depot.
Today, the factory produces a wide range of cheeses in mild, medium sharp, sharp, and extra shop varieties. It also comes in a myriad of flavors. (Garlic, fresh chive and hot pepper are just a few of our favorites!) The cheese is made with fresh, unpasteurized milk from a local farm, and unlike mass-produced cheese, no two batches are the same. Crowley also uses a rinsed curd process that results in a cheese that is creamier and sweeter than Vermont cheddar. It melts better, too!
2. Watch the Cheesemaking Process
Making cheese by hand takes time, and the cheesemakers at the Crowley Factory start first thing in the morning. You’ll see a different part of the process depending on when you arrive. Only a few hundred pounds of cheese are made each day, and the process remains exactly as it was when the factory was established. There is no automatic stirring equipment or any other such devices.
Note: Crowley usually makes cheese three days a week and the schedule can be variable. We suggest calling the factory at (800) 683-2606 before your visit.
3. Taste the Difference
Crowley cheese is delicious, but don’t just take our word for it! You can try some of the freshest cheese available right in the factory’s gift shop. Many Vermont foods and craft items are available here as well. Gift shop hours are Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Book Your Stay with GetAway Vacations
After your Crowley Cheese factory tour, head back to one of our Killington vacation rentals and unwind! Our properties are just a stone’s throw from the factory and provide unparalleled lodging in the Green Mountain State. Book your stay in one of our convenient ski on/ski off rentals, or enjoy the luxurious amenities at Mountain Green Resort. We even have pet-friendly properties for your furbaby! View our accommodations to see what’s available and contact us today to make your reservations.
Want to learn more about VT’s famous cheese?
Read our blog about the Vermont Cheese Trail!