Review: Mould Cheese Festival 2024 @ Brisbane Showgrounds

Mould Cheese Festival
Luisa is a travel, food and entertainment writer who will try just about anything. With a deep love of culture, she can be found either at the airport, at QPAC, or anywhere serving a frosty chilli margarita.

The Mould Cheese Festival in Brisbane is an absolute must-visit for any cheese enthusiast.

From the moment you step into the bustling warehouse, you're hit with the rich, savoury aroma of strong, artisanal cheeses. The festival brings together some of Australia's finest cheesemakers, showcasing a diverse array of flavours, textures, and styles to suit all palates.

The standout feature of the festival is, of course, the sheer variety of cheeses on offer. Whether you're a fan of soft, creamy bries and camemberts, robust cheddars, or unique blue cheeses, there's something here to tickle your taste buds. Each stall is manned by passionate cheesemakers who are eager to share the stories behind their creations, offering insights into the craft and care that goes into producing their cheeses. This personal touch makes the festival special – it’s the stories behind the produce that connects the visitors to the makers.

One small business – La Cantara Artisan Cheeses – offers coffee encrusted hard cheese, and queso fresco from their native Venezuela. Their produce is unlike anything else on sale at the festival – and absolutely delicioso! Another, Jack from Milawa Cheese Company, gives punters chucks of a block of cheddar bigger than his head, and back in the day was Australia’s youngest head cheese maker. The family behind Grandvewe (!) started their cheese making journey with a Churchill Fellowship to study the trade in the Pyrenees, and now works with their own family and those across the road to make their own, low waste sheep cheese. For example, using the leftover grapes skins from their neighbours wine-making business to flavour their own produce.

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Stepping away from the cheese itself, several alcohol artisans are also plying their trade. Hartshorn’s alcohols are award-winning – and derived from sheep’s whey. Their family is, of course, the cheesemakers of Grandvewe, and they are continuing the waste-not-want-not philosophy. Rather than paying someone to dispose of the whey leftover from making cheese, they decided to turn it into vodka!

The very best thing about Mould is tasting absolutely everything. In addition to cheese and sheep-whey vodka, visitors can sample a wide array of pates, jams, and charcuterie, enhancing the overall tasting journey. At the beginning of the evening, some of the samples are tiny – about the size of your fingernail. By the end – however – people are giving us chunks of cheese the size of my fist, and one, a whole mozzarella! Nothing can be saved overnight to be used the next day, so vendors get a lot more generous with their stock.

The atmosphere at the Mould Cheese Festival is vibrant and welcoming. The venue is thoughtfully arranged to allow for easy navigation between stalls, and there are plenty of seating areas where visitors can relax with their drinks and grilled cheese and truffle toasties.

The Mould Cheese Festival in Brisbane is a celebration of cheese in all its glorious forms. Whether you're a dedicated cheese lover or simply looking for a unique and enjoyable outing, this festival will be a winter highlight. It not only satisfies your taste buds but also enriches your appreciation for the artistry and passion behind Australia's finest cheeses.

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