For the Spring 2015 Edible Idaho I ventured out to Nampa, Idaho for this highlight on a local business.
Idaho Finds – Nampa Brewer’s Center
“I’m not the only game in town,” Deb Leonard says as she bags up some hops for a customer. While that might be true of beer brewing supplies it’s certainly not the case if you’re looking for home cheese making supplies.
It might seem as though Google maps has gone astray on a first trip to the Nampa Brewer’s Center. It’s deceivingly tucked in a residential area with an unassuming side door but behind that door is a surprisingly large space filled with everything needed for homemade beer, wine, soda, distilling and cheese making.
Leonard, a beer brewer, moved to Idaho in 1994, was semi-retired, “had more money than brains” and decided opening the Brewer’s Center was a perfect endeavor. In 2009 her brewing vendor started carrying cheese making supplies. Having no experience in this area, she tracked down a local cheesemaker and after one afternoon spent making mozzarella and tasting some of the homemade cheeses, Leonard was hooked.
Now Leonard not only sells the supplies – rennet, all kinds of starters, reusable cheese cloth, wax and molds – but she teaches classes each Saturday, a revolving schedule that includes Intro to Cheesemaking, Curds & Whey Ricotta, Mozzarella and, for the more advanced, Hard Cheeses. She also provides a vast knowledge of cheesemaking and a determination to make sure her customers are successful. For this she is indeed the only game in town.
Nampa Brewer’s Center
115 S. Westwood Blvd
Nampa, ID 83686