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Liquid City: Cheese Expo 2019 brings together makers of cheese, liquids

Cypress Grove Cheese
Cypress Grove Cheese.

Inaugural expo takes place at Liberty Station.

San Diego is known for its mouthwatering array of liquid offerings, including craft beer and spirits, cocktails and artisan wines. In acknowledgment of San Diego’s liquid riches is the recently formed Liquid City.

In its inaugural event, Cheese Expo 2019, the group will celebrate the cornucopia of delights a natural pair: cheese. The Sunday, May 19 event will play host to an array of gastronomic selections for hungry and thirsty San Diegans, plus liquid creators, which include breweries, distillers, kombucha and cider producers, and coffee roasters, along with cheese makers from around the country.

Created by Robert Graff, The Academy of Cheese manager at Venissimo, and Edwin Real, founder and curator of Eating and Drinking in San Diego and host of PACIFIC’s two podcasts, Kiss My Glass and Dish It Up, Liquid City was inspired over a cup of coffee and dreams of creating a distinctly unique event for the city.

“We realized there is no proper cheese event here,” Graff said. “We feel like San Diego is way more advanced than it gets credit for. What people do know and what we are renowned for is our beer scene, but it’s way beyond beer. People who live here know that.”

Beehive Cheese cheesemaker

But it was imperative to both Graff and Real that Liquid City not be just another festival, but something more enriching and satisfying for attendees.

“A lot of festivals are drunk fests with quantity over quality with no education, and you get lost and overwhelmed,” Graff said. “So we are calling it an expo instead of a festival. We are not interested in getting drunk or sickeningly full, but providing education and connection with others. This is a place where you can ask questions, taste and learn.”

In that vein, Liquid City incorporates a lineup of educational cheese programming, including 20 minute seminars where expo goers can hear the stories of cheesemakers, collaborations between breweries and cheesemakers and the science and production of cheese. Seminar speakers include Erik Fowler of White Labs and Rachel Dutton of The Dutton Lab at UCSD.

One of the most exciting aspects of the event is undoubtedly the six exclusive collaborations between local breweries and creameries, including Central Coast Creamery’s goat cheese washed in Modern Times beer, Cambria’s Stepladder Creamery cheese washed in Bivouac cider, Valley Ford’s blue cheese soaked in Vesper Vineyards red wine and Utah’s Beehive Cheese cheddar made with a Mostra Coffee rub.

In addition to an array of liquid refreshment and cheese hunting, there will also be an animal paddock with goats, sheep and calves brought by farmer and cheesemaker Jack Ford of TAJ Farms. To keep every memory of the day alive, Liquid City is also providing a passport program, with guests receiving a keepsake reference book to take notes in and get a stamp at each booth.

Liquid creators include popular breweries Modern Times, AleSmith, Societe, Pure Project, Pizza Port, Eppig and Fall, with Mostra Coffee, Vesper Vineyards, Bivouac Ciderwork and Raging Cider & Meads rounding out the list. California cheesemakers are well represented, including San Diego’s own CheeseSmith and Venissimo, Di Stefano cheese from Los Angeles, Central Coast Creamery from Paso Robles, along with Cypress Grove, Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery, Laura Chenel’s Chevre and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. from northern California, among others. Cheesemakers from Utah, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, Switzerland and France will also be there to tantalize local taste buds.

Cheese Expo

When: Sunday, May 19
Where: BRICK, 2863 Historic Decatur Rd., Liberty Station
Details:
VIP Session: 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., $65
GA Session: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., $55
Kids (under 18)
VIP: $35
GA: $25
Family Deal (two GA adults, two GA kids): $110
Super VIP Package: includes one evening at the Lafayette Hotel (Saturday, May 18), two tickets to cheese industry night, two VIP tickets to Liquid City Cheese Expo, shuttle to and from the event on Sunday: $350 (please note: this deal is available for purchase until May 10)

To purchase VIP and regular tickets, visit: eventbrite.com/e/liquid-city-cheese-expo-2019-tickets-57472299194