Giant is working with two Pennsylvania-based companies to bring an exclusive cheese offering to its Giant, Martin’s and Giant Heirloom Market banners for a limited time. The company is teaming up with Caputo Brothers Creamery and Tröegs Independent Brewing for the third time, launching Mad Elf Beer Cheese, which uses only milk from Pennsylvania dairy farms.
The launch of Mad Elf Beer Cheese follows last year’s introduction of the Troegenator Beer Cheese in 2019 and Perpetual Beer Cheese from earlier this year. Part of the appeal for the partnership is helping local dairy farmers by increasing demand for their milk.
“Every time somebody buys this cheese, there’s a trickle down,” said Caputo Brothers president Rynn Caputo. “This collaboration is literally saving dairy farms. It has also allowed us to hire more cheesemakers – chefs who are out of work and students who need jobs, in addition to partnering with other local businesses.”
The company noted that 500 Pennsylvania dairy farms have shuttered in the past year. One dairy farm close to shutting down was Barrens View Farm, owned by Lori and Dan Baumgardner. “Dan and I were at the point that we were going to sell our cattle and retire,” Lori Baumgardner said. “Then Caputo Brothers came along and it’s partnerships like this that create a demand for more milk.”
To make Mad Elf Beer Cheese, Caputo Brothers’ York County creamery bathes the curds in holiday beer Mad Elf, which is brewed once a year using cherries, dark malts and Pennsylvania honey. Curbs are pressed and aged, then the semisoft wheels get a spice rub of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove made by Calicutts Spice in Hershey, Pa. Also added is Littke Amps Coffee Roasters’ espresso and Hershey’s Natural Cocoa. The final product is left to dry for two days in Caputo’s cheese cave, creating a creamy, savory and sweet cheese.
“This cheese connects so many different Pennsylvania makers,” says John Trogner, brewmaster and founding brother, Tröegs. “Brewers, cheesemakers, coffee roasters, a spice company. And it helps farmers find sustainable ways to survive and thrive. On top of all that, it’s really, really good.”
The cheese currently is exclusively available at Giant, Martin’s and Giant Heirloom Market stores while supplies last. It also is available via Giant Direct and Martin’s Direct, Giant’s online grocery service, as well as on the Caputo’s website and in-person at Tröegs.