Say cheese: Brownes cheddar is back
Western Australia’s Brownes Dairy is bringing locally-made traditional cheddar cheese back to WA supermarket shelves for the first time in 14 years. Brownes will become the only WA-based company producing cheddar cheese on a large scale from fresh local milk in a move that’s expected to grow the WA dairy industry and create jobs along the supply chain.
“Brownes Dairy has a rich history of making cheese, which dates back to the 1930s,” says Brownes Dairy CEO Tony Girgis. “We want to bring cheddar cheese back to WA because we know there’s demand for it and we are keen to invest in WA dairy.”
The WA-made cheddar from Brownes Dairy will use old-style cheddaring techniques, including long and slow maturation at low temperatures. Last produced in WA for local consumers in 2006, Brownes has made significant investment at its Creamery in Brunswick in WA’s South West to make traditional cheddar from local milk.
“It’s exciting to be going back to our roots and giving the people of Western Australia a local product that they’ve certainly missed,” Girgis says.
While there are other cheddar brands in WA, the vast majority is made elsewhere and then imported to WA and branded for sale in WA supermarkets.
“Consumers probably don’t think about their fresh cheese travelling across the Nullarbor, but until now that’s what has been happening,” Girgis says. “We are supporting the local dairy industry by introducing a family staple back into WA supermarkets.”
Western Australia currently imports 15,000 tonnes of cheddar cheese a year. Total cheese imports into the state amounts to about 50,000 tonnes of cheese annually.
A couple of small cheese manufacturers in WA also produce high quality, speciality cheese from WA milk, contributing to the availability of locally-made cheese products to WA families, however, this is in small volumes.
The Brownes range includes a mature cheddar cheese aged for 12 months, which is perfect for everyday cooking. There is also a vintage heritage reserve cheddar, aged between 24-36 months – perfect for pairing with a great South West red wine.
The return of WA-made traditional cheddar cheese comes after Brownes Dairy revived another old classic, bringing back the “Milko” delivery service, initially to households self-isolating due to COVID-19. This service has proved so popular, it’s set to continue.