Ackernalm show dairy Thiersee - alm herbs for delicious cheese
The flavour of the alm
A loud call echoes across the Alpine meadows. The brown and white spotted beauties rise slowly. They look around. Then walk slowly up the hill. Following the distinctive call. Their destination in view. The stable. It's five in the afternoon. Two hours later and all the cows have been milked, and their milk loaded onto the tractor trailer in milk cans. Ready to be transported the few meters to the Ackernalm show dairy in Thiersee.
Tyrolean idyll at 1,400 metres
The view is unique. Thalerjoch. Veitsberg. Sonnwendjoch. The Kaiser Mountains on the horizon. A view down over idyllic Hinterthiersee. At Ackernalm there's not much to be heard apart from cowbells and the chirping of birds. It is surrounded by Tyrolean natural landscape in the middle of Kufsteinerland, with its eight picturesque villages and the nature-bound fortress city. 1,400 metres above sea level. For 50 years it was the home of Hans Degeser, the cheesemaker at the Ackernalm Alpine dairy. He developed the dairy into the largest and most modern Alpine dairy in central Europe, until he said goodbye to the alm in autumn 2016 at the age of 78. But the Ackernalm Alpine dairy has a worthy successor, who has taken over all the ingredients for success from Hans Degeser.
An instinct for flavour
The cows graze on the Alpine pasture from June 1st to September 30th, and in good summers produce up to 300,000 litres of milk. Organic milk. The meadows aren't sprayed with artificial fertilizer or pesticides, and the cows aren't artificially pushed to their limit with concentrated feed. The natural Alpine herbs give the cheese a unique flavour, which has won the Alpine dairy numerous silver and gold medals for its Tyrolean Emmentaler. But guests are also happy to walk two hours to buy some mountain cheese, alm butter and butter cheese. And then there's the secret ingredient that the cheesemaker at the Alpine dairy uses to "season" his products. Peace. The quiet of the location, but also the calmness of the production with which Hans Degeser has been refining the harmonious flavour of the cheese for decades. And that's what visitors to the show dairy can watch twice a day when cheese is made.