Wood River Creamery

Wood River Creamery is a brand created by Bruce Willis – the Master Cheesemaker, not the actor – of Burnett Dairy. Wood River Creamery was born after Willis created Alpha's Morning Sun, a provolone, cheddar, and Alpine-style concoction that was so popular that it led to the foundation of its own brand. Today, Wood River Creamery is known as the pioneer of a line of cheddar gruyere cheeses, a fusion of two classic varieties that combines the familiar tang of cheddar with the creamy, complex flavors of gruyere. There are 10 varieties of Wood River Creamery Cheddar Gruyere cheese, handcrafted in small batches with ingredients like herbs de provence, fenugreek, black truffle, and smoked cracked peppercorn. Wood River Creamery cheeses have developed a national reputation for surprising the most discerning cheese experts.

Burnett Dairy Cooperative

The Wood River Creamery brand is owned by Burnett Dairy Cooperative, a cheesemaker with roots in northwest Wisconsin since the 1890s. Today, Burnett Dairy produces a wide range of award-winning cheeses – everything from colby, gouda, cheddar, and havarti to mozzarella, provolone, string cheese, and cheddar gruyere.

Wisconsin Cheese

Burnett Dairy Cooperative, Wood River Creamery, and Master Cheesemaker Bruce Willis are all part of a long tradition of cheesemaking excellence and innovation in Wisconsin. We've been making cheese in these parts longer than Wisconsin has been a state. By constantly experimenting and improving, our cheesemakers have produced more than 600 varieties, styles, and types of cheese. Along with cheddar gruyere from Wood River Creamery, you'll find award-winning varieties like Dill Havarti from Roth Cheese, SarVecchio Parmesan from Sartori, Whiskey Gouda from Hill Valley Dairy, The Wild Boar Cheese from Dear Creek Cheese, and Ewe Calf to be Kidding, a triple-milk blue from Hook's Cheese.

All about Wood River Creamery

What is Wood River Creamery?

Wood River Creamery is a line of cheeses made by Master Cheesemaker Bruce Willis at Burnett Dairy Cooperative in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Wood River Creamery produces artisan cheeses that are handcrafted in small batches.

What is cheddar gruyere cheese?

Cheddar Gruyere cheese from Wood River Creamery is a fusion of two classic cheeses. Rather than making cheddar and gruyere cheese separately, Wood River Creamery's products are made using cultures and techniques from both cheddar and gruyere cheesemaking processes to produce a product that features the flavor and texture of both kinds of cheese. Cheddar gruyere is a semi-hard cheese that's made in small quantities and aged to develop sweet and nutty notes.

In addition to the original cheddar gruyere, Wood River Creamery offers a variety of cheeses flavored with peppercorns, applewood smoked sea salt, black truffle, chipotle peppers and garlic, herbs de provence, mango and habanero peppers, roasted red pepper and cracked peppercorn, and smoked cracked peppercorn.

What is the taste and texture of a cheddar gruyere?

When you take a bite of Wood River Creamery Cheddar Gruyere, you'll first get the mouthfeel of a cheddar and then the sweet, nutty flavor of a gruyere. The gruyere qualities give the cheese excellent melting properties, which makes a great for cooking. It's also a crowd-pleasing addition to a charcuterie tray or grazing table.

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What to pair with Wood River Creamery cheese

For beverages

Wood River Creamery cheeses pair exceptionally well with wine and craft beers.

  • Original Cheddar Gruyere offers a balanced blend of sweet and nutty richness. Enjoy it with chardonnay or a wheat beer.
  • Triple Pepper delivers an explosion of fiery flavor with a creamy texture. Complement it with a cabernet sauvignon or a pale ale.
  • Applewood Smoked Sea Salt is a smoky, savory fusion with a hint of apple sweetness. It pairs nicely with a chardonnay or farmhouse ale.
  • Black Truffle is a decadently rich flavor experience. To complement the cheese's earthy truffle notes and velvety texture, try a pinot noir or a wheat beer.
  • Chipotle Garlic features a bold fusion of smoky heat. A riesling or amber ale will highlight this cheese's creamy indulgence.
  • Herbes de Provence offers an aromatic fusion with velvety texture – perfect for a grüner veltliner or wheat beer.
  • Mango Habanero combines tropical sweetness and smooth creaminess. A chardonnay or lager are perfect choices.
  • Roasted Red Pepper and Cracked Peppercorn bring robust flavor and creamy texture that are perfect with a merlot, pilsner, or pale ale.
  • Smoked Cracked Peppercorn combines bold and smoky flavors with a lusciously creamy texture. Try it with a merlot, pale ale, or IPA.

In the kitchen

Because Wood River Creamery cheeses melt exceptionally well, they're perfect on grilled cheese sandwiches, flatbreads, and paninis with prosciutto. Shred it up as a topping for pizza or potato bacon soup. Toss with gnocchi, melt it into casseroles, or bake it into a cheesy apple tart.

On the grazing table

Wood River Creamery cheeses bring big-time flavor to cheese boards and charcuterie spreads. Surround it with fresh and dried fruits, pickled vegetables, toasted nuts, cured meats, crisp crackers, dips, and chutneys.


How is cheddar cheese made?

Traditional cheddar cheese is made by heating cheese curds in a vat to expel moisture and cause the curd to shrink. This makes it easier to produce large wheels of cheese with a smoother final texture. To drain the curd of additional moisture, the cheese is cut into blocks that are stacked and repeatedly turned, pressing more moisture out of the curd and allowing the bacteria to multiply while the acidity rises. The flattened bricks are then milled into small pieces, aerated, and cooled before being salted and pressed into forms.

What is Gruyere cheese?

Gruyere is a mountain cheese from Switzerland made from cow's milk, which is coagulated with rennet to produce curd. Raw milk is warmed to about 88°F, rennet is added, and the curd sets within 50 minutes. The cheese is cut, stirred, and heated to create a supple, smooth texture. After the cheese is pressed into forms, it is usually washed with a brine to encourage the growth of the bacteria that give the cheese its flavor.

What is an artisan cheese?

Artisan cheese is produced in small batches, often with traditional, handcrafting techniques. The quality of artisan cheese relies on the skill and talent of the cheesemaker rather than on automation and mechanized processes.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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