The times are changing. The people are waking up and the breweries are making beer better than before. What’s different, you ask? For some, the answer is nothing. For others it is the amount of fresh and local ingredients in their beer. As long as the beer taps are flowing, the process will continue to spur a creative outlet for the brewers - using resources they have, along with their brew knowledge, to create a concoction people enjoy. And let’s be real, there are a number of people out there drinking beer for the alcoholic effects and not the taste. But, IMHO, the vast majority of us enjoy beer for the taste, color, aroma, atmosphere, label art, and the ever-growing community. But, all of this wouldn't be impossible without farms. We have all heard the expression “No Farms, No Beer” but do any of us know what that means?
Let’s talk about some pretty sweet Farm to Table Breweries that I know of.
A women-owned brewery farm up North. I stumbled upon this gem on my first trip to New Hampshire and have returned each year. This brewery has grown in size and their offerings. Its a unique experience to imbibe on the farm while enjoying local ingredients incorporated into their food and beer. One of my favorite parts of the brewery is their Hobbs farmers market stand at the entrance. They offers fresh produce and flowers for purchase. No one watches the stand. You simply pay the amount based on the signage and payment options are provided. Trust and community go a long way here.
A much bigger brewery than the former but nonetheless, they thrive off of locally sourced ingredients utilizing some of the finest wheats and grains Pennsylvania has to offer. Troegs has been a-brewing for a long time and continues to push forward with new and improved methods for their beer and the planet. Aside from ingredients, they have been installing solar panels all around their brewery to create a more sustainable brewery.
A living beer project
In all honesty, a semi-local brewery I just recently discovered but have fallen for. I have not tried any of their beer yet so you can consider me an Instagram fan girl of theirs at this point. I love their page, their captions and the overall vibe and mission of the brewery. Their # is #cultivatepassion
The Seed’s approach is to honor the art and science of the process while paying homage to the indigenous land and ingredients. A mission to use as much of the locally found and sourced ingredients to provide a beer found no where else, and to help keep their local community growing.
The Seed recently rolled out a seed exchange program at their taproom and I am stoked to see how this grows. It’s a simple process - take seeds and leave seeds for others.
Oh a beauty of a brewery! I fell for them about a year ago after seeing their label artwork. Sometimes it is the beer I am drawn to and other times it is the artwork. In this case the latter came first. Upon much admiration, I became intrigued by their beer and their process. It is a simple approach like others: pay homage to the dirt in which the brewery is built upon. Their beers will test your palette as it will the seasons. Drowned Lands brew based on the soils, crops, yield, and a process dedicated to their surrounding. With over 10k craft breweries upon us these days, it is important to take care of the environment, but also set yourself apart from the others.
Drink from the source
Farmhouse Ales and Lagers are their speciality. This comes as no surprise given that it’s on a beautiful dairy farm they converted into their farmhouse brewery. “Ingredients are sourced from our own cultivated farm land close by, and by local farmers throughout the state and, in true farmhouse brewery tradition, brew in sync with the local harvests.” Does It get any more farm to glass than that?
Another reason I love The Source is because they continue to welcome the community in many ways. They have opened the Source Urban in Philadelphia and show case different artists on their beer labels and art in their taproom.
One of my favorite spots in New Hope, PA that is nestled along the Aquatong Creek. This is a smaller location from the actual farm, but still bringing in some of the best beer New Hope has to offer.
They are #Ukarainian owned and a true farm to table brewery that even uses crystal clear fresh water from their own private well. As most farm breweries do, they grow their own barley, use local sources to prep it, and source other local ingredients such as fruit and honey to provide a true local brew.
Im taking it further north with this farmhouse brewery. They are brewing off the northern lands of Illinois right near the Shawnee National Forest. Their mission, among the many named here, is to use the land and what is provided locally. Why is it so important that I have to keep mentioning it? Because it is local and naturally sourced, and continues to grow and give back.
Although our resources are scarce in terms of “we are destroying the planet” the beautiful part is: if you use the land appropriately, understand the resources, continue to plant and harvest more, practice regenerative agriculture, conserve your energy, and find renewable outlets, you are doing it right. That is why farm to table breweries are so important and why we need more farms and less factories in this world. We need humans who care about the planet (and the beer) to help restore natural ingredients, plants, soil, crops, and most importantly, understanding that the universe will provide.