Men's Journal

Upland Cheese Rush Creek Reserve


Like proper Wisconsini­tes, the cold doesn’t scare Upland Cheese’s hardy, athletic herd of dairy cows. They live outside year-round on Andy Hatch and Scott Mericka’s acres of pasture an hour west of Madison, Wi—feasting on grass in the spring and summer, then hay as the weather drops. “When the cow starts eating hay, the milk gains a lot of weight and texture because the fat content skyrockets,” says chief cheesemake­r Hatch, who bought Uplands with Mericka and their wives, Caitlin and Liana, from its original owners in 2014. “It’s perfect for a soft, unctuous, rich cheese.” That cheese is Rush Creek Reserve, a spruce bark-banded puck of fudgy, lactic magic aged in Upland’s cave for six to eight weeks. The first round of Rush Creeks typically roll out in November. Like a rare whiskey, the stock is spoken for months ahead by cheese counters around the country, but Hatch and Mericka hold a stash for direct orders. “It’s become a family tradition for a lot of our customers. They get one for Christmas, one for Hanukkah, and other gatherings.” No judgment if you devour yours on an ordinary fall weekday. uplandsche­

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