Meeting the Sheep at Bevistan Dairy
One slightly chilly autumn day I took a trip to Bevistan dairy to see how they make their delicious sheep's milk cheese. It's only a 20-minute drive to the North of Milton Keynes, located on Valley View Farm, which is run by Bev & Stan (the clue's in the name!)
So first off, if you think you have never tried sheep's cheese, well you actually might be wrong. If you have ever had Roquefort, Manchego, Pecorino or Feta you have eaten a sheep's milk cheese! You can probably tell from this list that sheep's milk cheeses are as diverse in taste as those from cow's milk and just as delicious.
What I find fascinating though is the health benefits of sheep's milk. Clearly Bev & Stan are onto something here that I can really see becoming a major future trend. In terms of its vitamin and mineral profile, sheep's milk is far superior to cow's or goat's milk. Sheep's milk has a different profile in terms of the size of the fat globules and the length of the fatty acid chains vs other milk, the result is that it is much easier to digest and can even be eaten by those who struggle with other dairy intolerances. It is also very high in protein which further aids digestion, maybe this is one cheeseboard which won't put you into a food coma after eating!
I had a lovely time tramping around in the mud whilst Bev showed me the various aspects of the farm. The cheese is made on-site just a few yards away from where the sheep are grazing!
Of course, first the milking, they also have cows on the farm, so they need two types of milking equipment.
Once the cheese is made, it is kept at precise temperatures to ensure it matures perfectly.
When I had visited the barn area where the sheep are kept for lambing, they had just had a lovely new concrete patio installed! That was to help keep the area nice and clean.
The sheep themselves were adorable and a bit less intimidating than cows which I always find a bit spooky!
If you would like to try some of Bevistan's delicious cheese, we have many different options available online here.