Food & Tourism Combined
Family owned & operated
Gabriel Faherty was left the family farm on Inis Mór and was already involved in tourism on the island doing historical tours. His interest in cheese was sparked by a gift from his wife, Orla.
She gave him a cheese course for his birthday. It was run by the Irish Seed Savers Association. There he met Marion Roeleveld from Killeen Cheese who was the course tutor.
The fact that his first pet was a baby goat might have been a clue to which animal’s milk he would use to make cheese back at home.
He set up Aran Goats Cheese in 2011. The cheese production plant is now a visitor’s centre and one of the stops on Aran Food Tours, also run by Gabriel.
Visitors can meet the goats, watch the cheese being and obviously, taste it!
Inspired by Nature
You hear a lot about the word “terroir”. It means that a food or drink should
taste “of the place”. Aran Goats Cheese is made from the milk of the 100 strong herd of goats that roam on the farm.
The range has grown to include local flavourings such as Dillisk seaweed but we also know that it loves to be paired with ingredients from further afield. Noel Leahy’s honey is a superb complement to cranberry and a Greek person once told Gabriel the feta-style was as close to the original as he had ever tasted.
Our cheeses are widely available on the island, in Galway city and county,
Dublin and online here.
Our goats have serious personality. Although there are wild goats on the island, the breeds at Aran Goats Cheese are the frisky Anglo Nubians and Saanens. Their milk is super creamy.
The dairy is equipped with a 1,000 litre vat, press and moulds. Our herd of 100 goats produces approximately 1000 litres of milk a week. 5kg of hard cheese requires 50 litres of milk to produce.
Seaweed plays a big part in the island’s story. The very soil the grass grows on was made by islanders adding seaweed to the sand. It literally makes up the land which is rich and free of artificial fertilisers.
There is less rain than in other parts of Ireland. The temperate climate means it is never too hot in summer or too cold in winter. The Atlantic breezes make sure of that.
Solar energy is used as well as an air-to-water heater for hot water.
The packaging is moving from plastic to glass
We practise herbicides and pesticide- free farming
There is low sulphur oxide containment
Only vegetarian rennet is used in the cheese-making process
All in the family
Gabriel and his wife Orla own and run the goats cheese business. Orla’s cousin Jenny owns Bláth na Mara who supply the seaweed for the Dillisk-infused cheese. Orla’s uncle Mairtín harvests the seaweed on the shores. Gabriel’s mother-in-law Catherine owns Teach nan Phaidi café which is a stop on the food tour.
Cheesemaker & Founder
Gabriel is a former deep sea fisherman who has truly found his calling in combining cheesemaking with tourism.
Ten years into production and the range of cheeses is multi-award winning.
Presently Aran Goats Cheese produces a range of soft cheese boilies in Original. Dillisk-infused, Mediterranean, Honey & Cranberry, and a Feta-style cheese.
The brilliantly named Parmasaran is a hard cheese.
The whey from the cheesemaking is fed to the farm animals so nothing goes to waste. You eat the curds, they eat the whey. Everyone’s a winner!
Visit the Farm
Meet the Goats
Gabriel of Aran Goat’s Cheese will introduce you some of his herd of 100 goats – don’t tell anyone, but one is named after his mother in law!
Then he will take you you through the process of making his award-winning products. He’s a born storyteller and weaves so much knowledge into his story. It’s really entertaining and informative. Then you get to sample and experience the range for yourself.
His beautiful Nubian and Saanen goats graze on the unique pastures of Inis Mór – the largest of the three Aran Islands on the fabled Wild Atlantic Way. The climate is perfect for the grass which is also rich in herbs as the island is served by the Gulf Stream. The unique diet of the goats gives the cheese its unique, delicious flavour.