North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild And Sierra Nevada Celebrate Big Beers With Inaugural Burly Beers And Barleywines Festival
by George Looby
On Oct. 26, a brisk breeze blew over Westford Hill, home of Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford, CT as they hosted an open house event to support the activities of Slow Food.
The Slow Food movement was founded in Italy in 1986 by Carlos Petrini. The organization encourages people to enjoy cooking again and return to traditional meals cooked from scratch. Advocates encourage the consumption of locally grown produce which dovetails nicely with the programs now in place throughout the country supported by many State Departments of Agriculture. The economic, cultural and health benefits of such a program are evident, and its momentum continues to grow.
Slow Foods also has another goal — the strong hope that many consumers will come to realize the many benefits to be derived from homegrown and locally grown foods.
by Bethany M. Dunbar
NEWPORT CENTER, VT — Brian and Jenn Cook are ready to take their farm and brewery into a new phase of production with a 22-ounce Meheen bottling machine, purchased thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Working Lands Initiative through the state of Vermont.
Kingdom Brewing has been able to sell kegs and fill half-gallon growlers with screw-on lids, but now they will also be able to fill and cap 22-ounce bottles. They have a tasting room at the farm, and beer sales have been steadily increasing. The couple also has a greenhouse and sells vegetables. They also grow pumpkins for their pumpkin variety of beer. (more…)
by Tamara Scully
“Our mission is to produce malt for Keystone breweries and distilleries using exclusively Pennsylvania-grown barley,” Adam Seitz, owner and maltster of Penns Mault, in Spring Mills, PA, said. “Basically, we want to be a puzzle piece in the Pennsylvania-grown, Pennsylvania-malted, Pennsylvania-brewed equation.”
For those skeptics, Seitz will refer to his biggest inspiration — a quote from William Penn. In 1685, in an attempt to attract more English settlers, Penn wrote that the territory of Pennsylvania was now able to “make mault, and mault drink begins to be common,” signaling that the area was well on its way to prosperity and longevity. (more…)
EAST AURORA, NY — With partial funding by the Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement program, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Erie County hosted a two-day workshop taught by New York State hops specialist Steve Miller; NWNY Dairy Team Crop Specialist Bill Verbeten; and Chris Gerling, extension sssociate at the Cornell Geneva Farm. The workshop had 64 participants from three different states. (more…)
by Karl H. Kazaks
CALLAWAY, VA — Within just a few months of opening, Chaos Mountain Brewing has already been noticed and honored for its place in Virginia’s craft brewing industry.
At this year’s Virginia Craft Brewers Festival, held in late August, 51 breweries submitted 221 beers in 23 categories to be reviewed by 28 judges. Chaos Mountain’s took home silver in the stout category for its Coco Borealis and gold in the strong Belgian ale category for its Agents of Chaos.
“We were pretty humbled to be honest,” said Joe Hallock, who is the co-owner of the brewery along with his wife, Wendy. “We have to keep telling ourselves it’s only been four months.”
by Bill and Mary Weaver
Among the many important decisions a start-up craft distillery must make is choosing a bottle design that will stand out. Far North Spirits, located in Hallock, MN, is receiving more than local noteriety — its striking bottle design has caught the attention of New York distributor T. Edward Wine & Spirits. The company will begin distributing Far North Spirits’ products in New York and New Jersey in September.
“T. Edward found us on a design blog, and they liked our packaging,” recalls Cheri Reese, half of the husband and wife team that started Far North Spirits. (more…)
by Sally Colby
Blind Squirrel Brewery
“The Blind Squirrel was born and raised in Avery County, in the small township of Plumtree, NC,” the story begins. “After years of making and consuming wood alcohol, he began to go blind. After a visit to the doctor, he quickly determined that he must improve the quality of his beverages or his sight would be completely lost forever. The Blind Squirrel is now considered to be legally blind, but he still manages to brew up some of the tastiest beer in the high country.” (more…)
by Melissa Piper Nelson
A customer walks up to a convenience store clerk with two items — a hot pizza and a cold salad. What will the clerk do? Bag them together, or ask the customer if he would prefer two separate bags? Smiling, the clerk recognizes the challenge and suggests two separate bags — one for the hot, one for the cold.
Watching this transaction recently, I asked the clerk about his decision. “I know some people would just put them together in the bag. It is simpler and takes less time, but I thought they should be kept separate for the best quality of the products,” he said. (more…)