Rolf Beeler is a Swiss affineur known for his raw milk artisan cheeses, which he has developed for more than 30 years. He does not make cheese himself but collects terroir-based cheeses from small, artisanal cheesemakers, and then ages them to create the final product. Rolf Beeler is regarded as Switzerland’s best maître fromager (cheese ager) and dubbed "The Pope of Cheese" by swiss newspapers.
Prior to becoming a cheese specialist, Rolf Beeler tried school teaching and even DJing, but his passion for good food prevailed. He opened his own grocery store where he sold only the products he personally liked. He then discovered that he wants to work particularly with cheeses. Beeler sold his store and started to work directly with cheese makers in Switzerland and abroad, including world-renowned French cheesemaker Bernard Antony.
Then, Beeler turned his house basement into small cheese cellar and started to age and ripen his favourite cheeses, which he bought from small local producers. Restaurateurs liked his cheeses, the business went up, and soon there was not enough space to stock all the wheels of cheese at his house.
Then he came up with a new strategy. He now allows the cheese to ripen at the cheese makers cellars and educates them on how to handle the process of ripening. He also visits his cheese makers at least once a week to check the product and discuss the further steps of aging.
After succeeding in production of traditional Swiss cheeses, Rolf started to develop new cheese recipes in collaboration with his fellow cheesemakers. Wine-washed Hoch Ybrig was the first one, and many followed. All new Beeler's cheeses are highly welcomed by cheese lovers and professionals alike.
By the end of the nineties, Rolf Beeler decided to expand to the foreign markets and introduced his Sélection Rolf Beeler at the Slow Food Fair “Salone del Gusto” in Turin, Italy in 1998. Today his Selection contains eighteen aged raw milk cheeses, and can be found on the menu of more than 120 top restaurants in Germany, England, Switzerland, Scandinavia, USA and Australia.
- Toggenburger Sélection Rolf Beeler won gold medal at World Cheese Award 2009 held in Gran Canaria
- Jersey Blue by Willi Schmid won gold medal at 2010 World Jersey Cheese Awards
- Max McCalman rated 186 cheese in his book “Cheese: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best”, 17 of the top 30 are from Rolf Beeler with the top spot going to Beeler’s Sbrinz
- Max McCalman, 2005. Cheese: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best, 304 pages, ISBN 978-1400050345
- Flammer, Dominik; Scheffold, Fabian, 2010. "Swiss cheese: origins, traditional cheese varieties and new creations", 343 pages, ISBN 978-3033026162
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- "Swiss Entry Best at World Jersey Cheese Awards", USJersey.com, Retrieved on 2013-11-15