Buying Local: A Look at Brewers Supporting Agriculture

With all of the craziness that came and went regarding the Farmer Brewer License laws in MA as of recent (check Adam’s blog posts about this), I think its appropriate to do a write up on how Breweries are supporting local farms. Notch Session Ales pointed me to the Brewers Supporting Agriculture page (link). While this post will be somewhat of an extension of that page, you can find all the information you need on that page.

Sustainability is beginning to be the buzz word for a lot of brewers from Portland, ME to Portland, OR. Brewers understand the hard work of those that farm the grain/hops and they want to support them by using local ingredients in their beer. While it may come at a higher price, buying locally is a small price to pay to know your getting great quality and making a great partnership, per say, with the community. Here is a quick list of the participating breweries and where they get their grain from.

Wormtown Brewery
White Oak Farm
Belchertown, MA

Cambridge Brewing Company
Lazy Acres Farm
Hadley, MA

Peoples Pint
Gill Organic Grain
Gill, MA

Notch Session Ales
White Oak Farm
Belchertown, MA

Ipswich Ales Brewery
Czajkowski Farms
Hadley, MA

Mystic Brewery
Gill Organic Grain
Gill, MA

Empire Brewing
Gianforte Farm
Cazenovia, NY

Throwback Brewery
Brookford Farm
Rollinsford, NH

While the list of Brewers above are not the only ones practicing sustainability, they are the ones listed as ‘2011 BSA Members’. Reading this list rings a huge bell in my head, as one of the farms, White Oak Farm, is located in my hometown and I never made the connection until writing this post, cool. The BSA supports homebrewers as well. Planting the seed (no pun intended) in the homebrewers mind that buying local is as easy as signing up on the website.

As part of the Malt of the Month program a homebrewer will recieve:

  • Two 50 lb sacks of organic 2-row pale ale or pilsner
  • 5 pounds of a bi-monthly specialty malt
  • A reusable and hand made organic cotton malt sack
  • Entry into Valley Malt’s 1st Annual Homebrew Competition

Sustainability doesn’t just mean buying local grain. Another way a brewery can practice sustainability is by donating the spent grain to farmers to give to their pigs which seems to be the norm around these parts. For more information on the BSA check out the web page (link) or speak to any one of the brewers listed above. It truly is an important practice that will soon become the norm.