American Cheese Society's 34th Annual Conference & Competition, July 26-29

DENVER, COLO. – The foremost educational conference and world-renowned cheese competition in the Americas will take place in Denver, Colo., July 26-29, 2017. Over 1,300 cheese and specialty food professionals are expected to attend the American Cheese Society’s (ACS) 34th Annual Conference & Competition, ‘Cheese with Altitude’ at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel and surrounding venues.

More than 1,800 different cheese products are expected to be judged in the ACS Judging & Competition, with the top cheese named ‘Best of Show’. The public can sample and purchase competition cheeses at the Festival of Cheese and Cheese Sale on Saturday, July 29, from 7:00 – 9:30pm. Proceeds from the Cheese Sale benefit the nonprofit American Cheese Education Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at

“We are excited to bring this important event to Denver,” said Nora Weiser, executive director of ACS. “More producers than ever are venturing into artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheesemaking to meet growing consumer demand for unique, local, natural cheeses. This event brings our industry together to network and learn, while showcasing a vast array of award-winning cheeses – there’s really something that every cheese lover can enjoy,” she noted.

According to the Specialty Food Association, cheese was the top category of specialty food sales in 2015, at more than 4 billion dollars—a 15 percent increase from 2013. The prestigious ACS Judging & Competition will recognize cheeses for their aesthetic and technical merits. Entries will be judged blindly over two days by 42 internationally renowned judges. The winners will be revealed at the Awards Ceremony on Fri, July 28. The “Festival of Cheese” on July 29 will allow Conference attendees and the public to taste competition cheeses while sampling craft beer, cider, and specialty foods.

Education plays a central role at the event, including: 

  • Opening keynote: ‘Resilient Teamwork and Leadership’ with mountain climber Jim Davidson, author of ‘The Ledge – An Inspirational Story of Friendship and Survival’, (Random House/Ballantine Books, 2012)
  • More than 40 educational sessions geared toward cheesemakers, retailers, and distributors
  • Ticketed tasting sessions, including: ‘Hops vs. Malt’; ‘Building the Olive & Cheese Pairing Playground’; ‘Far Out! Unconventional Cheese Pairings’, ‘Enjoying Cheese with Chocolate and Beer’, and ‘I Got 99 problems, But a Bicyclic Monoterpenoid Ain’t One’.
  • Strategy sessions on food safety, business, and retail (advance reservation required)
  • ACS Certified Cheese Professional® Exam
  • ‘Meet the Cheesemaker’: Conference attendees can meet and sample cheese and cultured dairy products from more than 80 producers

Registration for Cheese with Altitude is available at Press passes are available to qualified individuals upon request.


About the American Cheese Society

The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leader in promoting and supporting American cheeses. At 1,700 members strong, ACS provides the cheese community with educational resources and networking opportunities, while encouraging the highest standards of cheesemaking focused on safety and sustainability. ACS strives to continually raise the quality and availability of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. For more information, visit

Source: American Cheese Society