Besides wineries, the Finger Lakes Region is home to many dairies (whether they are home to cows, goats, or sheep), where milk is taken directly from the source and often made into regional artisanal cheese: much of which can be found at farm markets, area restaurants, wineries, supermarkets, and health food stores. Of course, it can also be found at most of the respective dairies on the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail. One of those Cheese Trail members, Lively Run Goat Dairy, is located just six miles from the Inn at Gothic Eves at 8978 Country Road 142 in Interlaken NY, and is a great place to visit during your bed and breakfast stay.
Lively Run has been in operation for 32 years, making it one of the country’s longest operating commercial goat dairies. The current owners, Steve and Susanne Messmer, bought the dairy in 1995. Their family has kept the tradition and quality alive since. In fact, Lively Run won the 2013 Foodie Award for the Best Artisanal Finger Lakes Cheese, and the 2014 Edible Finger Lakes Food Heroes Award. They are featured in Laura Werlin’s The All American Cheese and Wine Book, and were featured in the August 2013 issue of Woman Magazine, among others!
The Messmer’s herd includes French (Alpine) and Swiss (Sanaan) goats, which they feed a healthy diet of local plants and feed. They mix their goat milk with milk from five other herds (both cow and goat) in the area to produce and astounding 40,000 pounds of Chevre, Blue, Feta, Cheddar, and hard “Gold” cheeses. Over a dozen variations on these cheeses are currently produced. In the future, they hope to add a Dutch Gouda to their line. All of their cheeses are handmade in small batches with natural ingredients and no high-temperature pasteurization. Only the best goes into their cheese!
The dairy is open for cheese tasting and tours; dates and times vary. Currently, they are in their off-season schedule, open M-F from 10am to 4pm with $3 cheese tastings. Starting May 26 (Memorial Day), they begin their Regular Season schedule, open M-Sat from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm. Tours (which include cheese tastings) are $5 during the week, and $7.50 on Saturdays.
Lively Run also hosts and participates in a number of events throughout the year including the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail Wine and Herb Festival in late April and early May, and their annual Just KIDding celebration of the baby goats on May 10 right there at the Dairy. Additional events can be found on their website.
If you’ve ever wanted to meet a goat, see how a goat dairy farm works, or taste a variety of goat cheese, then you should plan a visit to Lively Run Goat Dairy during your Finger Lakes getaway!