CARLISLE, Pa. – In anticipation of the holiday season, The GIANT Company, Caputo Brothers Creamery of Spring Grove, Pa. and Tröegs Independent Brewing of Hershey, Pa. are teaming up once again on a limited edition cheese offering – Mad Elf Beer Cheese. This merry and bright holiday treat is the third collaboration for the three companies, following the successful launches of Troegenator Beer Cheese last year and Perpetual Beer Cheese earlier this year. As in the other two limited edition cheeses, 100% of the milk used to make Mad Elf Beer Cheese comes from Pennsylvania dairy farms.
“Every time somebody buys this cheese, there’s a trickle down,” said Caputo Brothers President Rynn Caputo. “This collaboration is literally saving dairy farms. It has also allowed us to hire more cheesemakers – chefs who are out of work and students who need jobs, in addition to partnering with other local businesses. It’s just amazing!”
This ongoing beer cheese collaboration has also created a demand for milk. In the past two years alone, 500 small Pennsylvania dairy farms have closed for good. Lifelong York County farmers Lori and Dan Baumgardner were planning to call it quits after three decades of milking a herd of cows every day and farming 200 acres of crops.
“Dan and I were at the point that we were going to sell our cattle and retire,” said Lori Baumgardner of Barrens View Farm. “Then Caputo Brothers came along and it’s partnerships like this that create a demand for more milk.”
Mad Elf Beer Cheese starts with 100% Pennsylvania cow’s milk. At Caputo Brothers’ York County creamery, cheesemakers bathe the curds in Mad Elf, a holiday beer which has been likened to a ‘toy craze on tap.’ Brewed once a year with cherries, dark malts and 25,000 pounds of Pennsylvania honey, Mad Elf offers subtly sweet notes of cherry and chocolate. After the curds are pressed and aged, the semi-soft wheels get a spice rub of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, created just to complement this cheese, from Calicutts Spice Co. in Hershey. Hershey’s Natural Cocoa was added, along with freshly ground espresso from Little Amps Coffee Roasters in Harrisburg. Finally, it was mixed with more Mad Elf, then rubbed onto the rind of the wheels and left to dry for two days in Caputo’s cheese cave. The result is a creamy, savory, and sweet cheese with notes of cinnamon, chocolate, coffee, and honey.
“This cheese connects so many different Pennsylvania makers,” says John Trogner, brewmaster and founding brother, Tröegs. “Brewers, cheesemakers, coffee roasters, a spice company. And it helps farmers find sustainable ways to survive and thrive. On top of all that, it’s really, really good.”
Mad Elf Beer Cheese is now available exclusively for a limited time while supplies last, at all 185 GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market locations. Customers will also be able to purchase through GIANT Direct and MARTIN’S Direct, the company’s online grocery service. In addition, the cheese is available for delivery via caputobrotherscreamery.com or in person at Tröegs.
“The GIANT Company has a long history of supporting local food businesses and our customers have really loved our ongoing collaboration with Caputo Brothers and Tröegs, anticipating what will be the next offering,” said John Ruane, chief merchandising officer, The GIANT Company. “From enjoying Mad Elf Beer Cheese at holiday gatherings to adding to your charcuterie for an evening at home, customers are not only supporting local companies like Caputo Brothers and Tröegs, but also Pennsylvania dairy farmers too.”
About The GIANT Company
The GIANT Company believes that no matter where or how, when meals happen, families connect, and when families connect meaningfully, good happens. Guided by its brand platform, For Today’s Table, the omni-channel retailer proudly serves millions of neighbors across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. With more than 35,000 talented team members supporting nearly 190 stores, 132 pharmacies, 105 fuel stations, and over 130 online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service in hundreds of zip codes, The GIANT Company is changing the customer experience and connecting families for a better future. Founded in 1923 in Carlisle, Pa., The GIANT Company family of brands includes GIANT, MARTIN’S, GIANT Heirloom Market, GIANT Direct and MARTIN’S Direct. The GIANT Company is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA. For more information, visit the GIANT or MARTIN’S websites.
About Tröegs Independent Brewing
Founded in Pennsylvania in 1996 by brothers John and Chris Trogner, Tröegs Independent Brewing is driven by a sense of adventure and curiosity. From the beginning, Tröegs has been built by family, friends and kindred spirits who share a love of great beer. “We’re not an English ale brewery,” says co-founder Chris Trogner. “And we’re not a German lager brewery. We take bits and pieces from each one of those traditions and try to come up with what we think is a very creative and great-tasting beer.” Tröegs is widely known for award-winning beers like Perpetual IPA, Troegenator, Nugget Nectar and Mad Elf, as well as its experimental Scratch Series, wood-aged Splinter Series and Hop Cycle Seasonals. Tröegs started working in earnest with local ingredients back in 2002 with the debut of holiday favorite Mad Elf. Today, the brewery buys about 25,000 pounds of local honey and 100,000 pounds of Pennsylvania-grown barley every year. Tröegs also sources local produce including pumpkins, cherries, peaches, nectarines and strawberries from the fertile Fruit Belt of Pennsylvania. Through rotating seasonal menus, Tröegs Scratch Kitchen is a showcase for new tastes and flavors, and its Guided Production Tour was named best brewery tour in America by readers of USA Today. The annual Art of Tröegs contest showcases the brewery’s love of art by challenging fans to create original artwork inspired by its beers. “We’re drawn to people with a sense of adventure,” says co-founder John Trogner. “And we think they’re drawn to Tröegs.”
About Caputo Brothers Creamery
Founded in Pennsylvania in 2011 by husband and wife duo David and Rynn Caputo, Caputo Brothers Creamery is focused on revolutionizing the mozzarella industry while providing a sustainable partnership for local dairy farms. Named for their sons, Giovanni and Matteo, the creamery is a true family business. Primarily known throughout the country and chef community for being the exclusive producer of naturally fermented cheese curds that can be stretched into fresh mozzarella, the Caputos have built their reputation of quality cheesemaking by sourcing the highest quality milk possible from local, family-owned dairy farms. To date, Caputo Brothers Creamery has saved two dairy farms with the goal of saving additional farms as they grow. Since 2018, Caputo Brothers Creamery has worked with The GIANT Company to develop in-store mozzarella and cannoli bars as well as the creation of two new beer cheese with Tröegs Brewery. The creamery currently produces about 250,000 lbs of artisan cheese annually. Additionally, the creamery operates an online retail shop and leads culinary tours to Italy. For more information, visit caputobrotherscreamery.com.