“It was 1854 when Ernst and Gottfried Fleckenstein decided it wasn’t enough to just have an awesome name. aSo, they carved out the first cave in the St. Peter Sandstone along the edge of the Straight River, just across from the train depot that ushered residents to and from Faribault. For nearly 70 years, the caves were the home of a brewery, evidence of which still clings to the porous walls.
“The caves have memory,” Jirik said in a 2010 video produced by Heavy Table Productions. “Our caves have memory of brewer’s yeast. We can show evidence of it on some of the cave walls.”
But then prohibition arrived and the caves were shut down in 1919, shuttered for 17 years until a rogue cheese maker with an equally memorable name, Felix Frederikson, bought the caves and produced the United States’ first blue cheese. Thanks to limits on imports from Europe, his business thrived during World War II. He named his first-in-America blue cheese “Amablu,” “ama” for love” and “blu” for, well, blue…”