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#PeopleofWKU: Gary Beu

Gary Beu is the Cheese Plant Manager & Artisan Cheesemaker at the Hilltopper Creamery located at the Charles L. Taylor Agriculture Center at the WKU FarmThe Hilltopper Creamery is part of the WKU Department of Agriculture. The Hilltopper Creamery sells cheese locally at the SOKY Farmer’s Market and soon online at wku.edu/hilltoppercreamery

Gary Beu

“My wife Carla and I owned a dairy farm in Alaska and I had always been interested in making cheese. I started teaching myself in our home kitchen in 1998 making small blocks of cheese with 2-3 gallons of milk. So, I’m self-taught. We decided in 1999 to start commercial cheese making to add value to our milk from the dairy. We built a new building with a milking parlor and the first-ever commercial cheese plant in Alaska.

“I am the first to admit that I made mistakes as I was learning. Students seem to appreciate that I am willing to say that and allow them to make some mistakes with no consequences. As long as it doesn’t have a negative effect on the cheese, I can show them how to correct it. This is called learning.

“We at The Hilltopper Creamery are constantly attempting to be innovative in offering new varieties of cheeses. We try to follow our consumers’ suggestions as much as possible for types and flavors. Future plans involve adding both yogurt and ice cream. A brand new course in Cheese Production is offered this semester and interest is good. This course will include a lot of ‘hands on’ cheese work including making and marketing the product. Students who are interested in a future in the food industry can find a very well-paying and interesting vocation in the cheese world and we hope to assist them in that endeavor.”

Contact: Agriculture, (270) 745-3151



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