13th March, 2017
The awards, now in their 24th year, will take place on Wednesday 31st May 2017 at the Royal Bath & West Show, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. The judging and the presentation of the prizes at the awards dinner will all take place on the same day.
As well as Supreme Champion, the Reserve Champion, the four Country Awards and the eight Main Category Awards, there will also be 13 Special Awards. Within the Special Awards there is a new award this year for Best Specialist Cheesemaker.
For details on how to enter this year’s cheese awards and a full schedule head here
Last year’s competition attracted over 900 entries from 148 makers. Cheeses entered came from over 54 counties that covered the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland, showing just how vibrant the British Cheese Industry is today. For 2017, 70 judges will judge 136 classes of cheese in nine categories.
Judges will score the cheeses on presentation, texture, aroma, flavour and balance. Dependent on the scores that each cheese receives, gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded.
Peter Mitchell, chairman of the British Cheese Awards, says: “We are delighted to announce that the British Cheese Awards 2017 are now open for entries. Last year’s awards were a great celebration of cheesemakers’ passion and variety. We are looking forward to seeing what these cheesemakers, renowned for their excellence and commitment to quality, will put into competition for this year.”
Robin Skailes, director of Cropwell Bishop Creamery – winner of last year’s Supreme Champion Award for its Shropshire Blue, says: “We are exceptionally proud to have won this prestigious award, which is a fantastic recognition for the hard work all of our team put in to crafting traditional, high quality cheese.
“It was especially memorable for us to win this particular trophy, as my grandfather, Frank Skailes, donated it to the show society some 80 years ago. So it is somehow fitting that it was awarded to us, as we continue his legacy of artisan cheesemaking.”
As well as the awards there will also be the British Cheese Marquee where British cheesemakers who have entered the awards have the opportunity to sell their delicious products to visitors. There will also be a variety of cheese tastings and talks for visitors to enjoy. So from traditional farmhouse Cheddar to more adventurous cheese, such as highly fragrant washed rind cheeses, there will be a great selection of products to buy.
Sponsors for this year’s awards include the following companies: Barber’s 1833 (A J & R G Barber), Amazon Fresh, Atlas Packaging, Aubrey Allen, Berkshire Labels, Bord Bia, Coombe Castle International, DuPont™ Danisco®, Harvey & Brockless, Marks & Spencer, OMSCo, Paxton & Whitfield, Peter Green Chilled, Rowcliffe, Somerdale International, Speciality Food Magazine, Tesco, The Fine Cheese Co., The Kroger Co., West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar (Ford Farm), Wyke Farms Ltd, Yeo Valley.