Nothing brings Americans together like vast quantities of cheese. Add good music, good spirits, and a dose of the great outdoors and you’ve got yourself an activity Guy Fieri would be proud of.
That, in a nutshell, is The Cheese Fest Cincinnati. Because haven’t you always wondered if there’s such a thing as too much cheese? (Hint: There isn’t.)
The Cheese Fest will be held September 9 from 2 - 10 p.m. at Smale Riverfront Park. Here’s the ticket link, in case you’re already persuaded. If you aren’t, may I direct your attention to the festival’s biggest draw, the Macdown/Meltdown competition.
What’s the Macdown/Meltdown competition? It’s a no-holds-barred, tastebud-defying competition that pits chefs and local restaurants against each other. Awards go out to the restaurant dishing up the best grilled cheese and the best macaroni n’ cheese. With a Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice winner, the custom trophy is a coveted item only a few will take home at the end of the evening. But we’re the real winners here, because we get to taste all the entries.
Here’s the best of the rest:
Cheeeeeeeeeeese: The festival will offer unlimited tastings from some of the most recognized artisan cheese and specialty food producers from around the world. They include the following producers, selected from a group of 70 based entirely on the coolness of their names: Reypenaer, Montchevre, Olli, Sartori, Président Cheese, Isigny Sainte-Mère, Quince and Apple, Goat Lady Dairy, and Veroni.
New York’s most iconic cheese shop, Murray’s Cheese, will pair your cheeses with wine, beer, or bourbon. (As you probably know, earlier this year Murray’s Cheese was purchased by Kroger, our city’s dearest corporate overlord and Cheese Fest’s premier sponsor.)
Boozy Accompaniments: There will be cash bars on-site offering beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for sale. ATMs will be available if you’re low on cash.
Live Music: Live music will be played throughout the event, with the signature acts being 500 Miles to Memphis at 6:30 p.m., followed by Kentucky Struts. Also playing are Little Miami String Band, Jeremy Francis, and Hickory Robot.
The Ticket Situation: A general admission ticket includes entry to The Cheese Fest Cincinnati as well as access to the Meltdown/Macdown competition, cheese producers, live music, and unlimited free cheese samples. This is a family friendly event — kids under 12 are free. Attendees can also purchase tickets to pairing classes for $10/session and educational classes for $5/class. See below:
- Wine Pairing: 3-4 p.m.
- Bourbon Pairing: 4:30-5:15 p.m.
- Beer Pairing: 6-6:45 p.m.
- Wine Pairing: 7:30-8:15 p.m.
- Cooking Demo: 4-4:30 p.m.
- Cheese Makers Unplugged: 5-5:30 p.m.
- Cheese Twins Pairing: 6-6:30 p.m.
- Cooking Demo: 7-7:30 p.m.
- Cheese Makers Unplugged: 8-8:30 p.m.
For more information about The Cheese Fest Cincinnati, visit their website.