The Art of Cheese Festival

September 29 – October 1, 2023
Madison, Wisconsin

Cheese Crawl to Cheese Ball, Art of Cheese Festival Has It All.
Art of Cheese is an exclusive, artisan cheese festival created for the
world’s biggest cheese lovers with events in and around Madison, Wisconsin.
Tickets on sale now!

Schedule and Events

Schedule and Events

Click on each date below to view the festival schedule

Friday, Sep. 29th
Saturday, Sep. 30th
Sunday, Oct. 1st

8:00 am – 4:00 pm

A Journey through the Heartland of Wisconsin Cheese

Spend the day in Southern Wisconsin’s Green County, home to two of the most distinctive creameries in America. The first stop is Roth Cheese where you will taste your way through their world-champion cheeses followed by a visit to Chalet Cheese, the only maker of Limburger in the U.S. Lunch will be at the picturesque Seven Acre Dairy Company in Paoli, a restaurant inside a restored creamery serving fare inspired by the fields and farms of Wisconsin. During the tour, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a couple of surprise guests!
*$195 per cheese lover
 

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8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Breaking the Mold in Cheese & Architecture

The sweeping vistas of the Driftless region are the perfect setting to experience and discuss the innovation behind artisan cheesemaking. We’ll start at Uplands Cheese, home to esteemed cheesemaker Andy Hatch and the world-famous Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Then we’ll make our way to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Riverview Terrace Café where James Beard Award-nominated chef and host of Wisconsin Foodie, Luke Zahm, will sit down for a meal and conversation about drawing inspiration from the land around us. After lunch, guests will share a private tour of Wright’s famous home, Taliesin, and explore the importance of space.
*$195 per cheese lover

Sold Out

8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Aged to Perfection: A Bourbon & Cheese Excursion

Gain a deeper appreciation of two of the finer things in life: handcrafted bourbon and expertly made cheese. We’ll kick the day off with a sensory class at the Center for Dairy Research at UW-Madison, with a bourbon and cheese tasting to follow at J. Henry & Sons Bourbon in Dane, Wisconsin, hosted by J. Henry & Sons partner, Liz Henry, and some special Wisconsin cheesemakers. Lunch will be presented by James Beard Award-nominated chef Daniel Fox of Madison’s illustrious Heritage Tavern, where the bourbon and cheese highlight Fox’s high-class homegrown cuisine.
*$195 per cheese lover

Sold Out

8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Cheesemaking 101: Science for Cheese Geeks

Take a mini course in cheese science at the UW’s Center for Dairy Research. Then have lunch at Cadre Restaurant in Madison with a group of certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers where you can ask them everything you’ve always wanted to know about cheese. This tour is for the Cheese Intellectuals (or wannabes) out there looking for a more in-depth experience on the science of cheesemaking.
*$175 per cheese lover

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7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Wisconsin Cheese Ball

Come one, come all, to the fancy Wisconsin Cheese Ball! One of the most anticipated highlights of the entire Art of Cheese Festival. There’ll be music to set the mood, gourmet food, expert pairings, mixologists whipping-up specialty cocktails, wine and beer all night long, live watercolor portraits, and, of course, a chance to taste your way through the State of Cheese. Held at the beautifully renovated Garver Feed Mill, attendees can mingle with Wisconsin cheesemakers and make memories at what promises to be an evening of cheese-themed cheer. And for each ticket sold, a wedge of cheese will be donated to a local food bank.
*$135 per cheese lover

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8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Cheese Fair Off the Square

Sample, purchase, meet the makers, and stroll through an enormous selection of award-winning Wisconsin Cheese at this one-of-a-kind outdoor marketplace. Sellers from all over the state will be on hand to offer recommendations and show you all Wisconsin has to offer. The event takes place alongside the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producer only market in the country where you’ll find even more Wisconsin cheese producers sampling and selling their hand crafted cheese.
*Free and Open to the Public

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11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Art of the Cheese Board

Join Marissa Mullen, author of the best-selling book, “That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life,” and the newest book, "That Cheese Plate Wants To Party", as she details the Cheese By Numbers method for putting together beautiful and delicious cheese plates. While crafting the perfect plate, you will feel the relaxing and creative side of cheese plate creation and realize it is an act of self-care. She’ll be imparting her knowledge in person with a build-your-own-board class at the restored historical gem, the Ellsworth Block, overlooking Madison’s iconic Capitol Square. Participants will learn the fundamentals behind crafting stunning, delectable cheese boards that double as works of art, and receive a custom commemorative board to take home.
*$125 per cheese lover

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11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Art of Crafting & Cheese

Sip, sample, and craft during this fun hands-on session. Cheese and its accoutrements make wonderful building blocks for creativity of all kinds. In this class, we’ll be wood-burning custom designs into beautiful cherry wood cheese boards for you to take home. All the while, you will be learning about the History of Wisconsin cheese, sampling some of its best examples, and getting down to its roots while sipping a variety of local beverages.
*$100 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Art of Affinage

The world’s most distinctive cheeses have one thing in common: a strong finish. We’ll dive into rinds, soaking, aging, and other finishing techniques that make cheese unique, and give attendees a firsthand taste of how different affinage methods impact the taste and texture of the cheese. Affinage expert and founder of The People’s Cheese, Liz Thorpe, alongside Justin Warner, as seen on the Food Network, will be teaching the art and techniques of the finishing process, fittingly held at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
*$75 per cheese lover

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11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Art of Pairing Wine & Cheese

An elegantly paired wine and cheese can make a romantic evening unforgettable, or it can be the life of the party. However, getting it right and learning the hows and whys of elevating each element is a study that lasts a lifetime. Over at Madison’s luxurious Edgewater Hotel, James Beard Award-winning author Laura Werlin will bring her unique sense of humor alongside James Beard Award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang, to host an educational, interactive, and sure to be unforgettable cheese and wine pairing session.
*$85 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Art of Pairing Cocktails & Cheese

If pairing wine and cheese is an art form, pairing cocktails and cheese is where the eclectic inspiration begins. Craft cocktails (and mocktails) are made with so many botanical, bold and piquant flavors that lend themselves perfectly to cheese. Culinary and beverage expert, cocktail historian, and author of more than a dozen books, Jeanette Hurt, will be holding court at the Edgewater, teaching us how to mix, garnish and pair our favorite cheeses with our favorite liquor.
*$85 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Art of Pairing Chocolate, Coffee & Cheese

Buzz on by the AC Hotel in Madison for beautiful views over Lake Mendota and pointers on pairing a variety of chocolates and coffees with our Wisconsin favorites. Monger-turned-cheese-preacher, Erika Kubick of Cheese Sex Death, an advocacy group for all things cheese, will be showing us how to add some savory sides to our morning coffee or a delicious richness to after-dinner dessert.
*$75 per cheese lover

Sold Out

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Art of Cooking with Cheese

Learn how to prepare a cheese-centric menu from two legendary chefs. Patrick O’Halloran is the former owner and chef at Madison’s revered Italian ristorante, Lombardino’s, and is currently plying his wares as the owner and operator of The Deliciouser. Anyone who pays attention to the Wisco food scene knows Luke Zahm, the James Beard Award-nominated chef, owner of the Driftless Café in Viroqua, WI and host of PBS’ Wisconsin Foodie. They’ll be sharing some of their cheesy secrets so you can wow friends and family when you get home with what you’ve learned.
*$135 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Art of the Cheese Board

Join Marissa Mullen, author of the best-selling book, “That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life,” and the newest book, "That Cheese Plate Wants To Party", as she details the Cheese By Numbers method for putting together beautiful and delicious cheese plates. While crafting the perfect plate, you will feel the relaxing and creative side of cheese plate creation and realize it is an act of self-care. She’ll be imparting her knowledge in person with a build-your-own-board class at the restored historical gem, the Ellsworth Block, overlooking Madison’s iconic Capitol Square. Participants will learn the fundamentals behind crafting stunning, delectable cheese boards that double as works of art, and receive a custom commemorative board to take home.
*$125 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Art of Crafting & Cheese

Sip, sample, and craft during this fun hands-on session. Cheese and its accoutrements make wonderful building blocks for creativity of all kinds. In this class, we’ll be wood-burning custom designs into beautiful cherry wood cheese boards for you to take home. All the while, you will be learning about the History of Wisconsin cheese, sampling some of its best examples, and getting down to its roots while sipping a variety of local beverages.
*$100 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Art of Affinage

The world’s most distinctive cheeses have one thing in common: a strong finish. We’ll dive into rinds, soaking, aging, and other finishing techniques that make cheese unique, and give attendees a firsthand taste of how different affinage methods impact the taste and texture of the cheese. Affinage expert and founder of The People’s Cheese, Liz Thorpe, alongside Justin Warner, as seen on the Food Network, will be teaching the art and techniques of the finishing process, fittingly held at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
*$75 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Art of Pairing Wine & Cheese

An elegantly paired wine and cheese can make a romantic evening unforgettable, or it can be the life of the party. However, getting it right and learning the hows and whys of elevating each element is a study that lasts a lifetime. Over at Madison’s luxurious Edgewater Hotel, James Beard Award-winning author Laura Werlin will bring her unique sense of humor alongside James Beard Award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang, to host an educational, interactive, and sure to be unforgettable cheese and wine pairing session.
*$85 per cheese lover

Sold Out

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Art of Pairing Cocktails & Cheese

If pairing wine and cheese is an art form, pairing cocktails and cheese is where the eclectic inspiration begins. Craft cocktails (and mocktails) are made with so many botanical, bold and piquant flavors that lend themselves perfectly to cheese. Culinary and beverage expert, cocktail historian, and author of more than a dozen books, Jeanette Hurt, will be holding court at the Edgewater, teaching us how to mix, garnish and pair our favorite cheeses with our favorite liquor.
*$85 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Art of Pairing Chocolate, Coffee & Cheese

Buzz on by the AC Hotel in Madison for beautiful views over Lake Mendota and pointers on pairing a variety of chocolates and coffees with our Wisconsin favorites. Monger-turned-cheese-preacher, Erika Kubick of Cheese Sex Death, an advocacy group for all things cheese, will be showing us how to add some savory sides to our morning coffee or a delicious richness to after-dinner dessert.
*$75 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

3:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Cheese Crawl

The Willy Street neighborhood on Madison’s East side is home to quintessentially-Madison people and places. Giant Jones Beer Company, Working Draft Beer Company, and State Line Distillery are three of the emblematic craft beer and spirit makers woven into the fabric of this noteworthy neighborhood. Each stop will feature drink and cheese pairings led by a cheesemaker and drink expert.
*$85 per cheese lover

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5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Harvey House: An Evening on the Cheese Train

All aboard the Harvey House, one of the gems of the Madison restaurant scene. Named to the New York Times' 50 Favorite Restaurants of 2022 and featured on CBS Saturday Morning, this upscale take on a traditional Wisconsin supper club is tucked into a gorgeously refurbished train platform and dining car. You’ll join a table of other passengers for a five-course dinner of elevated takes on classic Midwestern supper club fare featuring some of Wisconsin’s most iconic cheeses.
*$185 per cheese lover

Sold Out

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Art of Cooking with Cheese

Learn how to prepare a cheese-centric menu from two legendary chefs. Patrick O’Halloran is the former owner and chef at Madison’s revered Italian ristorante, Lombardino’s, and is currently plying his wares as the owner and operator of The Deliciouser. Anyone who pays attention to the Wisco food scene knows Luke Zahm, the James Beard Award-nominated chef, owner of the Driftless Café in Viroqua, WI and host of PBS’ Wisconsin Foodie. They’ll be sharing some of their cheesy secrets so you can wow friends and family when you get home with what you’ve learned.
*$165 per cheese lover

Tickets Live 7/13

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Harvey House: An Evening on the Cheese Train

All aboard the Harvey House, one of the gems of the Madison restaurant scene. Named to the New York Times' 50 Favorite Restaurants of 2022 and featured on CBS Saturday Morning, this upscale take on a traditional Wisconsin supper club is tucked into a gorgeously refurbished train platform and dining car. You’ll join a table of other passengers for a five-course dinner of elevated takes on classic Midwestern supper club fare featuring some of Wisconsin’s most iconic cheeses.
*$185 per cheese lover

Sold Out

9:00 am – 10:45 am

Bubbles & Cheese Brunch

Wisconsinites know how to brunch. Join us for a bountiful spread of brunch foods, mimosas and Bloody Marys, all expertly paired with the finest cheeses in the state made by esteemed women cheesemakers. The 4-course brunch will be held at Graze on the Capitol Square and served by founder Tory Miller, a James Beard award-winning chef and advocate for local Wisconsin producers.
*$95 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Swiss Salutations: Cheese Yoga on the Waterfront

Join us Sunday morning for an hour of Swiss Salutations, Limburger Lunges, Provolone Planks, and a Happy Baby Swiss or two. Overlooking the water at the Edgewater Hotel, we’ll set our intentions for the week with some cheese-themed poses. Then we’ll gather for coffee, cheese, and pastries to reflect and be thankful for everything we’ve experienced over the weekend at the Art of Cheese Festival. Namaste!
*$65 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Bubbles & Cheese Brunch

Wisconsinites know how to brunch. Join us for a bountiful spread of brunch foods, mimosas and Bloody Marys, all expertly paired with the finest cheeses in the state made by esteemed women cheesemakers. The 4-course brunch will be held at Graze on the Capitol Square and served by founder Tory Miller, a James Beard award-winning chef and advocate for local Wisconsin producers.

*$95 per cheese lover

Buy Tickets

Travel and Info

Travel and Info
hotel

Hotels

Click on each hotel below to receive special Art of Cheese hotel rates.

Hilton Madison Monona Terrace

9 East Wilson St
Madison, WI 53703

Hyatt Place Madison/Downtown

333 W Washington
Madison, WI 53703
If booking independent of above link, use code G-DFOW upon booking


AC Hotel Madison Downtown

1 N Webster St
Madison, WI 53703

Restaurants and Walking Tour

Restaurants and Walking Tour
restaurants
Decorative Dots

Dine around Madison at some of these delicious destinations with Wisconsin Cheese features all week long.

Walking Map of Art of Cheese Festival Restaurants


Amara

Wisconsin Cheese in dishes from Coastal Italy makes all the sense in the world. Amara is offering a small plate showcasing the richness of Uplands Pleasant Ridge cheese.

Make Reservation

Cadre

Cadre recreates international flavors through the use of Wisconsin’s unique terroir. Widmer’s Brick Spread is the star of the dish they’ve whipped up in honor of the festival.

Make Reservation

Fromagination

Receive a FREE Fromagination insulated tote bag with a $100 purchase or a FREE Wisconsin cheese board with a $200 purchase. And register to win an Art of Cheese Gift Basket valued at $200.

Make Reservation

Heritage Tavern

Drop on down to the Heritage for their upscale farm-to-table cuisine and a special small plate Art of Cheese cheese board.

Make Reservation

Ian's

Grab an Art of Cheese slice or two at this NY-style pizzeria.

Make Reservation

Lucille

A classy step up from your classic pizza joint, Lucille is serving an Art of Cheese-themed pie featuring Sartori Rosemary Asiago as the specialty cheese.

Make Reservation

Merchant

Pair a couple of craft cocktails with a Wisconsin Cheese cheese board featuring Roth Grand Cru Surchoix at one of the trendiest spots around the square.

Make Reservation

Plain Spoke Cocktail Co Tasting Room

Climb the stairs for a Wisconsin classic, the famous Brandy Old Fashioned, and enjoy it paired with Hill Valley Luna.

Make Reservation

Square

Enjoy one or two expertly paired wines with Roelli Haus Cheddar or Marieke Mature Gouda.

Make Reservation

Wisconsin Cheese Mart

Get 10% off any cheddar aged 10+ years

Make Reservation

Youngblood Beer Co Taproom

Grab a pint of Kyle the Cat, an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) that’s delicately dry-hopped and, in this case, perfectly paired with Hill Valley Luna.

Make Reservation

FAQ's

What are the dates for the Art of Cheese Festival?

Events for the Art of Cheese Festival run from Friday, September 29th through Sunday, October 1st

Is there an age requirement for Art of Cheese events?

Wine and spirits go well with cheese, so only adults of legal drinking age (21 years old) or older will be allowed to attend ticketed events. Art of Cheese activities open to the public, however, like the Cheese Fair Off the Square and the Cheese Walking Tour, are intended for cheese lovers of all ages. 

Who can I contact if I have any questions about the Art of Cheese Festival?

Send an email to brie@artofcheesefestival.com (Get it? Brie? The reciever will be happy to promptly respond to your inquiries.)

 


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