Lexington: Boone Creek Creamery Brings Artisan Cheese to the Bluegrass
Ed Puterbaugh applied his background in clinical microbiology to a new hobby–cheesemaking. Now Puterbaugh’s Boone Creek Creamery has grown from a hobby to a booming artisan creamery that offers over three dozen varieties of cheese. Boone Creek Creamery is not only a regular feature at places like Good Foods Coop and the Lexington Farmers Market, but they have also opened an expanded creamery in Lexington coupled with a Kentucky Proud market.
The great thing about the creamery is that it was specially designed so that visitors can actually watch the cheesemaking process. You can see Puterbaugh take Kentucky milk and tranform it into a dizzying array of cheese flavors. The difference in cheeses comes primarly from a combination of heating temperature and the size to which the curds are cut. The larger the curds the more moisture the final cheese will have. Puterbaugh has even created his own “Hobbit cave,” an aging room that provides the perfect cool environment for the cheeses to mature into deliciousness.
The entire process is visible thanks to viewing windows that were built into the creamery. Tours are encouraged (great for kids, especially) and they even come with–wait for it–cheese samples. They had me at “cheese samples.”
Puterbaugh will even take you into the cold depths of Boone Creek’s aging “cave” where there are shelves upon shelves of aging artisanal cheeses of every flavor imaginable. Puterbaugh has fun with his cheese varieties and even more fun with the names. You can find cheeses like Ginger Rhapsody, Sassy Redhead, Kentucky Derby, and Abbey Road. Despite attempts to lock myself in the room they were finally able to get me out.
The good news is that in exchange for money they will allow you to take the cheeses home with you. After the sampling I was hooked on the smoked gouda. I bought the gouda along with a few others for home consumption.
But it’s not only cheese you can find at Boone Creek’s store. They have created a Kentucky Proud store with a wide array of Kentucky food products from hot sauces to jams and jellies to Crank & Boom ice cream, and much more. All this is tucked away in a rather unassuming area of Palumbo Drive, not quite where you might expect, so keep your eyes open the first time you visit so you don’t miss the shop.
Check with store manager L.R. Kindel about the best time to visit for a tour (try to time to see the curds being cut). Or if you simply have a hankering for cheese (and let’s face it–who doesn’t?) stop by anytime during open hours. It’s pretty much guaranteed they have something you’ve never tried before.
Boone Creek Creamery
2416 Palumbo Drive, St 110
Lexington, KY 40509
Monday – Friday: 9 AM – 5 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 2 PM