Thirty feet below street level, Benton Brown and Susan Boyle of Crown Finish Caves age their deliciously moldy wares in the lagering tunnels of a former brewery beneath the Monti Building in Crown Heights, where 26,000 pounds of cheese ripens to perfection in one of the facility’s 15-foot-high brick tunnels. This weekend Crown Finish is opening up one of the unused former brewery tunnels, seldom seen by the public, to host a cheese-and-wine tasting event to benefit the expansion efforts of Maple Street School, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens’ cooperative preschool (h/t DNAInfo).
The story behind cheese-aging facility Crown Finish Caves in Crown Heights tells of an enormous amount of risk and dedication to making something on a small scale; to doing one thing well. It also once again stirs the hive of buzz around today’s Brooklyn. Article after article raises the idea that Brooklyn’s moment as the new hot spot for excellence in food, culture and authentic, hand-crafted goods, is in some quarters regarded as trite and trendy hype with little substance to it.
For some, the underground cheese caves are just one more example: Cheese caves. How Brooklyn. Thirty feet below street level, in the lagering tunnels of a former brewery beneath the Monti Building in Crown Heights, Benton Brown and Susan Boyle spent several years renovating and creating “Brooklyn’s premier cheese-aging facility” complete with state-of-the-art humidity control and cooling systems. The couple created the 70-foot space with advice from the world’s top cheese experts; Crown Finish Caves opened in 2014. On an article in Cheese Notes, a commenter raves: “If I were a mouse, I would move to Crown Heights.”