14th March, 2017
The awards are the pre-eminent cheese event in the UK and are great a celebration of British cheese and the industry. With over 900 cheeses expected to be entered visitors will get a unique opportunity to see all these cheeses in one location.
The British Cheese Awards, now in their 24th year, form part of the Royal Bath & West Show, that takes place from Wednesday 31st May to Saturday 3 June. Tickets for the show can be purchased online here – each advance adult ticket includes FREE entrance for two children.
Judging for the awards takes place from 9am on 31st May and members of the public will be able to observe this unique judging process from a dedicated area in the judging room. Judges will score the cheeses on presentation, texture, aroma, flavour and balance. Dependent on the scores that each cheese receives, gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded.
Then from about 1pm onwards on the same day, once the judging has finished, visitors will be able to have a close up view of all the cheeses that have been judged.
As well as the awards there will also be the British Cheese Marquee where British cheesemakers who have entered the awards will be selling their delicious products. There will also be a variety of cheese tastings and talks for visitors to enjoy. So if it’s a traditional farmhouse Cheddar or a more adventurous cheese, such as a highly fragrant washed rind cheese, there will be a great selection of products to buy and take home to enjoy. There will also be the chance to talk to some of the cheesemakers about the cheeses they make.
The awards that the cheesemakers will be hoping to win include Supreme Champion, the Reserve Champion, the four Country Awards and the eight Main Category Awards. There will also be 13 Special Awards, including a new award this year for Best Specialist Cheesemaker. Last year’s Supreme Champion was Shropshire Blue, made by Cropwell Bishop Creamery in Nottinghamshire.
Last year the competition attracted over 900 entries from 148 makers. Cheeses entered came from over 54 counties that covered the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland, showing just how vibrant the British Cheese Industry is today. For 2017, 70 judges will judge 136 classes of cheese in nine categories.
As well as visiting the British Cheese Awards, visitors will be able to enjoy all the other activities that the Royal Bath & West Show has to offer. Attractions include world-class livestock, live music and the very best of British Food & Drink. High quality competition runs through every section of the show and includes the British Cider Championships and International Sheep Shearing. 2017 sees the debut of a host of new livestock classes, an enhanced Team Challenge Competition and the all-new equine area. The Main Ring plays host to a UK agricultural show exclusive; the Diggerland JCB Stunt team, who will thrill visitors with their high octane, dare devil performances. The Royal Bath & West Show will be an exceptional experience.
Sponsors for the British Cheese Awards 2017 include the following companies: Barber’s 1833 (A J & R G Barber), Amazon Fresh, Atlas Packaging, Aubrey Allen, Berkshire Labels, Bord Bia, Coombe Castle International, DuPont™ Danisco®, Harvey & Brockless, Marks & Spencer, OMSCo, Paxton & Whitfield, Peter Green Chilled, Rowcliffe, Somerdale International, Speciality Food Magazine, Tesco, The Fine Cheese Co., The Kroger Co., West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar (Ford Farm), Wyke Farms Ltd, Yeo Valley.