The Cheese Barrel

If you’ve dedicated yourself to a life of cheese, or you are looking for a lazy Sunday activity, the Cheese Barrel is the place for you.

Emily Ace
April 7, 2017
Shop Local

Dream a little dream of cheese

Just in case you weren’t already aware: I LOVE CHEESE.

This could explain the faint sound of an angelic chorus as I crossed the threshold into the Cheese Barrel. 

This slice of heaven is the brainchild of Anthony Yurisich, a fourth generation wine maker for family owned Olive Farm Wines- which conveniently resides just next door.

And what goes better with a glass of wine than a board of high quality farmhouse and artisanal cheeses?

With a distinct gap in the market, The Cheese Barrel was ripe for enjoyment when it opened in August 2012, and still remains the only cheese focused café in Western Australia.

The vision is simple; to perfectly matching Olive Farm wines with 85 benchmark cheeses for indulgence in its most simplistic form.

Margaret River experience without the drive

Located on Great Northern Highway in the Swan Valley, the outdoor deck looks out over picturesque views of Susannah Brook. It’s the perfect setting to sip some award winning wine, bask in the gloriousness of your favourite cheese, the crisp fresh air and the sunshine on a lazy afternoon.

It's also the perfect setting for a family outing. The wide open space and large sandpit downstairs means the kids can go free range while you kick back and relax. They don't have to miss out on the cheesy goodness either, with a menu created just for them. Sociable dogs are also welcome, as long as they are on leashes, picked up after and kept in the downstairs area

Already a very busy small business owner, Anthony entrusted his creation to managers Sarah Howlett and Kylie Monaghan. Both ladies have over 20 years of experience in the Valley across many different food businesses; Sarah as a cellar door wine expert and Kylie as a chef by trade.

Peddling in the addictive qualities of cheese

Self-described ‘cheese pimps’, Sarah and Kylie have nurtured the business as if it were their own. Since their appointment they have implemented cheese tastings, an ever changing collection and the inclusion of WA brand cheeses in the heavenly cabinet. They also have a focus on stocking a range of cheeses at a variety of price points to keep it accessible to everyone.

A gouda collection

To bring the best quality to their customers, the pair choose cheeses from their place of origin. Expect your Brie and Roquefort from France, Cheddars from England and Provolone from Italy.

Finding WA cheesemakers to stock however is no easy feat as we aren’t really a cheese making state due to the climate. Sarah and Kylie strictly choose brands that are owned and made in WA such as HaVe cheese from Harvey, Kytren from Morangup and Dellandale from Denmark, all small companies just big enough to provide consistent stock. The best part is that everything is available for takeaway and enjoyment at home.

Cheese your own

If you still have a hankering for fresh locally made cheese, why not have a go at it yourself? TCB rent a space in their café to cheesemaker Tanya, who regularly runs classes on making a range of soft and semi-hard cheeses.

Being on the humane food trail, Sarah and Kylie put an emphasis on sourcing food and products that are free range. They admit sometimes with cheese it is an impossible task, but do the best they can.

They also place high importance on keeping as much as they can local. Although they don’t produce their own cheese for sale, they cook all their own deserts and make their own mascarpone. They also stock relishes, dukkah and olives that are marinated in the valley. If there is anything being produced in the valley you can expect the ladies to incorporate it however they can to support local. Accompanying your delectable cheeses will often be freshly made bread, local ham and fresh figs sourced from just next door to enhance all the flavours.

Stilton know?

If you are intimidated by the extensive menu, TCB take all the stress away with their wine flights. Pairing cheeses and wines is second nature to the experienced staff and they will choose four great wine tasters to perfectly match your preferred cheese board.  Don’t worry fella’s, they stock beer too!

If you want to choose as the experts do, Sarah goes for a lovely smelly Gres des Vosges with a glass of Traminer and Kylie opts for Triple Creamed Goats cheese with a Brut sparkling.

TCB also holds a number of events including sundowners, their annual ‘Cheese’Ter’ brunch on Easter Sunday, and this year will be hosting a ‘Sunriser’ where you can come down to help crush grapes for the winery. They also hold ‘high cheese’ afternoon teas, and hope to encourage mothers groups to come through to enjoy the serenity on weekdays.

If you are a fellow cheese lover and looking for something unique at your next function, TCB can tailor a customised cheese tower to suit your needs.

It doesn't get any feta than this

The ladies are convinced that with such a huge collection they have something to please everybody- unless of course you really don’t like cheese- in which case, Kylie doesn’t believe you can be trusted.

If you’ve dedicated yourself to a life of cheese, or you are looking for a lazy Sunday activity, the Cheese Barrel is the place for you.

You can check them out on Facebook and Instagram and can score a 5% discount if you check in at the counter.

The Cheese Barrel is open 7 days, 10am – 5pm.

Emily Ace

Hi Guys! I’m Emily; a cheese, pun and quilting enthusiast who spends too much time watching Friends. Thanks for sharing our passion of all things Perth and supporting the amazing local businesses we have all around us. My motto is to see all the things, do all the things and, most importantly, eat all the things.