Fourth generation Ribble Valley-based cheesemakers Butlers are celebrating after being named winners of a new Made in Lancashire Award
The fourth-generation team at Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses recently won a top honour at the prestigious Red Rose Awards.
Naming Butlers as winner of the new Made in Lancashire Award, at a glittering ceremony, the judges said: “Having made investments in new product development and technology, Butlers has been leading the great cheese awakening, winning new business with national supermarket chains and developing a direct-to-consumer offering.
“They are Lancashire ambassadors for own product range and are the world’s only cheesemaker to boast 100 per cent recyclable packaging which they developed themselves. They are a great example of Lancashire manufacturing innovation and excellence.”
Butlers is committed to sustainability using milk from the family herd, which travels just a few miles to the dairy, impacting farm to fork miles significantly and Butlers lead multiple initiatives every year to support the rural Lancashire community.
Matthew Hall, fourth-generation owner of Butlers said: “Being recognised as Lancashire ambassadors who represent manufacturing, innovation and excellence makes us all very proud.
“We’re passionate about helping to make Lancashire famous for food and drink. Our products have purpose. We hand make all of our cheeses with love, using traditional methods just as we always have done. We continue to push the boundaries and deliver new and exciting experiences for our customers. Our people are the absolute best at what they do, they represent everything that Lancashire is about and this award win is entirely because of them.”
In March 2020 Butlers took a holistic approach to manufacturing investing in people, products, processes and technology to take their cheese making to the next level.
Speaking about Butlers’ signature blue cheese, Blacksticks Blue, Matthew explains: “We are on the way to achieving our dream of making Blacksticks Blue the number one blue cheese brand in the world – and it’s all down to our Lancashire roots!”
Simple Ideas To Add Extra Oomph!
It may seem strange to some, but in Lancashire combining cheese and apple pie is a tradition! Some suggest keeping the cheese on the side and taking things bite by bite, others add a cold piece of cheese to a warm pie slice while others suggest baking the cheese into the crust directly. Mrs Butler’s would be the perfect cheese – the creamy flavour will complement the acidity of the apple and the crunch of the crust.
Butler’s journey into soft cheese making began over 15 years ago. Renowned for their Farmhouse Lancashire and soft creamy Blacksticks Blue, the development of a soft, creamy white cheese, Button Mill, was a much-wanted addition – it is delicious spread over a cracker, but try dolloping on top of pancakes. Add some raspberries too and you’ll have something a bit special for breakfast.
Ravens Oak Goat’s Cheese is made from the milk sourced from Butler’s family farm, which is just down the road from the dairy at Throstle Nest Farm. The goats are so much fun to be around, they are intelligent, inquisitive and generally pretty cheeky. This cheese has a subtle nutty flavour reminiscent of almonds, which develops as the cheese naturally matures. The flavour pairs beautifully with dark chocolate – ideal for an unusual after-dinner treat.
Triple graded for a strong and complex flavour, Sunday Best is the very best cheese from Lancashire. Steeped in tradition, this 50-year-old family recipe has been handed down from Jean Butler and is still made to the same recipe today. Sunday Best melts evenly and smoothly, without the oily separation that you get with cheddar, making it the ideal cooking partner. Why not make your toasties more remarkable by adding some lobster? Simply cook the lobster tails and cut into chunky pieces, crumble Sunday Best over the top and toast away!
Blacksticks Blue is absolutely the perfect blue for any cheeseboard, its bright orange hue brings a bit of brightness. It is really creamy, providing a striking contract to the blue bite. As it is perfectly balanced, it has the power to convert many a blue cheese pessimist. For a sweet snack, try some on a ginger biscuit – delightful!