Burren Gold Cheese
Here in North County Clare, Aillwee is a Geosite within The Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.
This designation is something we are very proud of and take very seriously. Burren Gold Cheese has received Geo Food status, which means it is a food that is produced within the Geopark using ingredients sources within the Burren Region. Made by local people and sold within the region. This partnership has been hugely successful due to strong community participation and engagement.
In the Farmshop at Aillwee, in our small factory, we have been making cheese since 1985. Gaining experience in Holland, we adopted both the methods of Gouda style and Traditional Farmhouse cheesemaking. Our milk has continually been sourced from the Holstein Friesian herd at Caherconnell Farm located 5km from Aillwee. The herd graze the grass, wild herbs, and wildflowers in the heart of The Burren region.
This style really is versatile and works very well for us as we only make cheese while the cows are on pasture. Traditionally our cheesemaking season is from April to October but because of how we age Burren Gold, we have supply all year round.
Naturally smoking cheese has traditionally been a very difficult process but when done correctly the result can be exquisite. Therefore, we pride ourselves on being one of the few artisan cheese makers continuing the craft of smoking cheese naturally.
A visit to the Farmshop will be educational and a culinary delight as a visitor will taste their way through lovely young creamy cheeses and the more intense mature cheese that becomes; harder and denser in texture with bold flavours that can be sharp, salty, sweet, nutty, and caramelized all at once.
Why not avail of our cheese tasting tour.
This is an opportunity to visit our farmshop and see the home of Burren gold cheese. Where we make cheese from April through to October.
We will talk you through the making process of our lovely Farmhouse Gouda. You will taste young creamy, through to the mid and very mature cheeses with lovely nutty and caramel flavours. All our cheese is naturally made and naturally aged.
We are one the few cheese makers still Naturally smoking cheese.
The process is a difficult one and requires skill from the cheese maker.
In the Farmshop we provide an outlet to other local cheese makers so you will have an opportunity to taste local Goat and Sheep cheeses.
As part of our talk, we like to share our story. How it all began, the source of our milk, the benefits and challenges of being a producer in the Burren region.
We have been making Fudge here at Aillwee for 25 years. Maggie, a local farmer, who is our experienced fudge maker has been making our delicious fudge for almost 20 years.
Visitors love to indulge this sweet treat and coffee after their walk through our Hazel Woodland.
Some of our fudge specialities are Chocolate Mint Swirl, Atlantic Sea Salt Caramel but Maggie’s favourite is the delicious Burren Crunch!
Our cream and butter Fudge is available to purchase online.
This bee is a strain of the European Dark Honeybee (Apis Mellifera Mellifera). It is the indigenous bee of Ireland and therefore perfectly adapted to the climates of the region. Through genetics it has been proven, Ireland has some of the purest strains of European Dark Bee in the world.
The Burren region provides the ideal location to breed Queens. This is because Karst landscape is not the preferred habitat for the imported honeybee. This reduces the risk of imported drones mating with our Irish Black bee Queen hybridising the Irish Black Bee.
Through working together, we can provide visitors a beautiful Burren Wildflower Honey in the Farmshop.
Sustainability is very important to us here at Aillwee. When we support local producers it gives them access to a much greater footfall. Likewise, we are supported throughout the greater Burren region by likeminded Businesses called Burren Eco Tourism Network.
The network joins together in order to promote the destination as a whole. This in turn helps to promote our mission to drive sustainability within the Burren Region.
Here is a list of some of the produce you will find on our shelves
- Anam coffee Roasted right here in the Burren Region.
- Clare jams produced in Doolin
- St Tola’s Goat cheese from Inagh.
- Smoked salmon from The Smokehouse in Lidoonvarna
- Chutneys and Sauces just up the road in Kilcolgan.
- Guru Tea House in Ennistymon.
- Wild Irish Sea weed sustainable harvested in Quilty
- Airmid Soaps from Kilfenora.
Some of our staff have gone on to become entrepreneur’s in their own rite and we now stock their crafts.
- The Moher soap Co. Raquel
- Brisha Candles Shauna Browne
- Lamblittle Greeting Cards Jane Clarkhill