Britain's excellent eccentric cheesemakers

The world of cheese making is an eccentric one. Maybe it’s the reaction of the rennet or the curd that makes the cheesemakers of Great Britain so eclectic and full of characters.

The story of British cheesemaking is an interesting one. Back in 1939 there were 1600 on farm cheese makers, in 1948 there were 140. The vast majority of these were makers of traditional cheeses (Cheddar, Lancashire, Wensleydale etc). By 2000 the modern day cheese revolution was well under way with 350 makers and just twenty years later that number has doubled and continues to increase.

There are many great characters in the world of British cheese and here’s just a few….

Joe Schneider. A very anglicised American who makes Stichelton. Joe is quirky and has a wicked sense of humour, he even understands the rules of cricket. He is totally immersed in the British cheese scene and is much loved and admired by many cheese lovers for his endless patience in seeking to make the perfect raw milk blue cheese.

Mary Quicke. The purple hatted queen of Cheddar. Mary runs the family estate in Devon which has been in the Quicke family for 400 years. She has been tirelessly promoting not only her own very excellent cheese but also British cheese as a whole. A passionate educator and preserver of traditions, she helped launch the Academy of Cheese.

Juliet Harbutt. OK, she’s not British and she lives in New Zealand but she cajoled and bullied many in the cheese world when we needed it most. Fiercely determined and great ruffler of feathers she created the British Cheese Awards back in 1990 when a handful of maybe 150 cheese were judged. By the time she returned to NZ in 2014 there over 1000 cheeses judged.

James Aldridge RIP. James was a true pioneer. Creator of many great cheeses, James was constantly looking to the next project. Never wanting to get stuck making the same cheese for years on end he would give away his recipes to young aspiring makers. He was responsible for many of today’s modern British cheeses….Lord of the Hundreds, Golden Saye (which evolved into Waterloo), Tornegus, Isle of Avalon, Flower Marie.


Join The Academy of Cheese as they celebrate all that is wonderful about British cheesemaking (including makers like the ones we've listed above) during the British Cheese Weekender from Friday 23rd April to Sunday 25th April 2021.


In the mood for some great British cheese? Our British Classics Cheese Box contains some great British cheeses including the fresh and zingy goats cheese Golden Cross made in Lewes, Tunworth made by the fabulous Hampshire Cheese Company, the delicious Cornish Gouda made in Looe and the stilton-style Shropshire Blue from Cropwell Bishop.

Order your British Classics Cheese Box. Or, take a look at our cheese box delivery page for even more options.

Order by Thursday 22nd April for delivery by Saturday 24th April and we'll add three fantastic complimentary British cheeses to celebrate the #BritishCheeseWeekender!