Local brewers hoppy about more locally-grown ingredients

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The growth in craft beer brewing is driving a demand for more locally-grown ingredients.

In a story headlined, "How local is your beer? The rise of local ingredients," TheLineMedia reported that an increasing number of Minnesota breweries are seeking locally-sourced items, including local honey, fresh fruit, local “wet” (green) hops and barley.

The story noted that Summit Brewing has regularly used homegrown ingredients and has incorporated Minnesota-produced corn, wild rice, pumpkins and maple syrup in its specialty brews. Meanwhile, home brewers are tending a garden plot solely devoted to hops at the Longfellow Community Garden in Minneapolis.

“Beer is fundamentally a community beverage,” said Andrew Schmitt of the Minnesota Beer Activists, which initiated the hops plot. “Everyone is excited about brewing beer with hops this fall that are fresh, right off the plant.”

The Wisconsin State Journal had a story that said that more Wisconsin-grown barley is being grown as a cash crop for that state’s craft beer brewers. In 2013, state farmers harvested 784,000 bushels of barley, an increase of 19 percent from 2012.

Dan Carey, co-founder of New Glarus Brewing Co., the state’s largest craft brewery, said he would pay twice as much for locally-grown barley.

“Small family farms are the backbone of our country and it’s important to support small family farms and local agriculture. The goal is to try and talk farmers into putting barley into their rotations instead of putting oats or wheat into their rotation," he said.

Craft brewers use about 50 pounds of barley per barrel compared to about 16 pounds per barrel by larger beer companies that specialize in lighter beers, Carey said. In 2013, New Glarus used 5 million pounds of barley, with 5 percent of it grown in Wisconsin. Carey said he would ultimately like locally grown barley to account for 33 percent of what the brewery uses.

Barley research is being conducted by UW-Madison in collaboration with UW Extension and the University of Minnesota. In the last three years, trial plots have been planted in Buffalo and Chippewa counties in western Wisconsin.

Dean Volenberg, a UW Extension agent, said in a report that Wisconsin-grown barley offers breweries a distinctive taste.

“As with grapes, the geography, geology and climate where hops and barley are grown affect their flavor characteristics,” Volenberg wrote. “This means a product made from Wisconsin-grown barley and hops will have unique characteristics.”

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.

PennyMomentos

How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.

Drywall

Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.

ambulance

4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.

20201107_vivir-1151-Edit

Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.

MasklessJudgesinWiscoyTownship

At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said

Related