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Vermont Cheesemakers Festival Names "Best of Fest" Winners

The Vermont Cheese Council and The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival announced the winners of the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival’s annual “Best of the Fest” winners chosen by the attendees of the festival.  Winner for Best Cheese was Maplebrook Farm’s “Burrata;” Best Artisan Food Product was Laughing Moon Chocolates; and Idletyme Brewery’s “Danube” was named Best Beverage. 

Located in Bennington, VT, Maplebrook Farm produces a full-line of mozzarella, ricotta and feta products.  On Friday, July 29, 2016 Maplebrook Farm received a first place award for its Burrata, along with a first place for their Ricotta Alta and Whole Milk Feta at the prestigious American Cheese Society competition held in Des Moines, IA.  Maplebrook Farm Burrata is a cream filled hand-made mozzarella ball.  It pairs well with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, acidic products such as tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, and herbs such as fresh basil, fresh oregano and fresh marjoram. 

Laughing Moon Chocolates, a long time participant of The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival is located in Stowe, VT with a retail shop and chocolatier on site.  Their distinctive chocolates include truffles made with Vermont Chevre, and Jasper Hill Farm’s Bayley Hazen Blue.  Laughing Moon is also known for its distinctive bars, caramels and seasonal confections including hand-pulled candy canes during the Winter holidays.  Laughing Moon Chocolates can also be found online and on pillows throughout Stowe’s finest inns.

Idletyme Brewery is located in Stowe, VT on the Mountain Road and is open to the public seven days a week, every day of the year.  Idletyme Brewery is helmed by brewer Wil Gilson who makes distinctive ale and beers in the copper brewing vat located on site.  The restaurant is operated by Michael & Laura Kloeti, long time restauranteurs in the Stowe and Waterbury, VT area.  The winning brew “Danube” is a blueberry Hefeweizen style beer with subtle fruit, dry, endearing nose.  The brewery generally has seven different styles of house beer available on tap, and distributes bottles and growlers, and is served on tap at fine taprooms throughout Vermont.  

The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival is operated by the Vermont Cheese Council.  Celebrating its eight year in 2016, the Festival has been named on the Top Summer Food Festivals in the United States for the past three years.  The festival is attended by 1750 ticket holders, 40 cheesemakers serving over 150 types of cheese, local food organizations including Vermont Fresh Network, Vermont Maple Sugar Growers Association, regional cheese guilds including the Massachusetts Cheese Guild, and the Cheese & Dairy Society of New York State, as well as over 90 artisan food, wine, beer, cider and spirits producers.  The festival is located at Shelburne Farms.  The date for the 2017 Festival is July 16, 2017 and will be held at Shelburne Farms in the Coach Barn. 

The Vermont Cheese Council is a statewide membership based organization with 48 principal cheese producing members and over 20 associate members.  The VCC is committed to promoting the advancement and quality of Vermont cheese through promotion, education and strong peer to peer support.  The organization has been in existence since 1992. For more information, please contact: Tom Bivins, Executive Director at or call 802-451-8564 or visit the Vermont Cheese Council website at