The Brewlog: Regulator Brewing Company Blog

News, etc. from Regulator Brewing Company. Updated sporadically.

Posts marked ‘Author: Stephanie Williams

Giving Tuesday 2016: Supporting Local Farm and Food System Initiatives

Since there are still a few hours left of #GivingTuesday, we wanted to take a second to plug some non-profits in our area who contribute to the strength and versatility of our local food market.  Regulator really appreciates, and in some ways directly benefits from, the important work these folks do: we couldn’t make our 75% local ingredient promise without a sustainable (and growing) local food system. Whether it’s today with a donation, or sometime in the future as a volunteer or benefit attendee, please consider supporting the following initiatives:

  • Abundance NC

    Abundance aims to be a hub of community resilience in central North Carolina, sourcing out abundant local opportunities to live sustainably.

  • Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

    CFSA helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic food by advocating for fair farm and food policies.

  • Farmer Foodshare

    Farmer Foodshare connects people who grow food with people who need food.

  • PORCH

    PORCH, Inc. is an all-volunteer, nonprofit hunger relief organization that provides healthy food and other assistance to thousands of families living in poverty. 

  • RAFI USA

    RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially-just, and environmentally-sound family farms.

 

Giving Tuesday 2016

Holiday Gift Ideas!

t-shirt_ad

It’s the day after Thanksgiving… we here at Regulator are thankful for each other, our families, our community, and–of course–beer.  If Black Friday has turned your thoughts to gift-giving, we’re here for you: we have plenty of t-shirts for the beer lovers on your list, as well as an assortment of stickers and glassware.

Check out our online store!

Merchandise purchases support our mission to brew every beer with at least 75% local ingredients–so cross a gift off your list and feel good about it, too!

Happy Birthday to Regulator!

Last week, Regulator celebrated the one-year anniversary of our launch party. It’s hard to believe we’re one year old already!  It’s been a blast, and we wouldn’t be here without such a supportive community. Just for fun, we thought we’d take a look back at the year in numbers. Stay tuned for some new seasonals this Fall/Winter (and maybe even some anniversary brews!)

Regulator 1 Year Infographic

This weekend: Eastern Triangle Farm Tour

Are you 21?

The Regulator crew is taking a (short) road trip this weekend! We’ll be helping the beautiful Blue Whistler Farm in Rougemont celebrate their first year on the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour: selling pints, and tussling with chickens.

If you’ve never been on one of Carolina Farm Stewardship Association‘s farm tours, you’re in for a treat: every year CFSA organizes area farms into two weekends of visitation days–one in the spring, and one in the fall.  It’s an opportunity to get acquainted with the rich and varied agricultural efforts in your neighborhood–check out the map of participating farms ahead of time and plan your route, or see where the wind takes you.  Either way, it’s a lovely way to spend a weekend day, and proceeds from tickets (one ticket required per carload–bring your friends!) go to support CFSA’s work advocating for policies that help farms thrive.

Amy and Josh at Blue Whistler have worked hard to build a bustling farm in a short amount of time. In addition to locally-sourced beer brewed by yours truly, you’ll be able to pick up handmade local dairy products, eggs and bakery items while you visit with rabbits, pigs, turkeys, and some beer-loving chickens.  See the writeup here for more information. Hope to see you there!

What’s Making Us Happy to Brew in NC, Part 1: Happy Cows

You may have heard: April is North Carolina Beer Month! In honor of NC Beer Month, and inspired by Pop Culture Happy Hour‘s segment, “what’s making us happy this week,” we’re doing a series here on the brewlog: “what’s making us happy to brew beer in North Carolina.”

For part one, we’re starting at the end of the brew day. Depending on the beer, each brew produces a tub or two of “spent grain:” crushed malt that’s been soaked in high-temp water to extract flavor, starches, and the sugars that make for good fermentation.  “Spent” is kind of a misnomer, though, because the brewing process leaves behind a lot of good stuff: spent grain is particularly high in protein and fiber, not to mention particularly tasty to cows.

Regulator’s spent grain doesn’t go to waste: Kim and Chad Woods of Spring Crest Farm (just up the road in Hurdle Mills) take it off our hands and put it to good use. In addition to being wonderful people, they’re a part of Firsthand Foods‘ network of conscientious local livestock farmers. Our contribution is small, but we’re proud to support this humane, sustainable North Carolina food system in any way. (To read more about Kim and Chad, visit their page on Firsthand Foods’ site.)

That’s a lot to be happy about, but if you’re not convinced, take a look at this:

Cows

Photo thanks to Kim Woods.


Stay tuned for next week’s installment of “what’s making us happy to brew beer in North Carolina,” and don’t forget to drink a North Carolina beer in honor of #NCBeerMonth! To find Regulator on tap in Hillsborough, keep an eye on where to find us, or catch up with us on facebook or twitter.

Let’s hear it for the gals!

It’s been a good week to be a lady: first, the Pink Boots Society Big Boots Brewday on Saturday the 5th–then, International Women’s Day on the 8th.

In celebration of these, and the fact that 50% of Regulator Brewing Company packs an extra X chromosome, Anna and I pushed up our sleeves and took over the brewhouse for a day.

Yes, that’s right: we pulled on our pink shoes and flowery boots, respectively (hey, those count, right?) and brewed you a batch of flagship Capsheaf Kölsch in the name of ladies… and beer.

Though it wasn’t our first beer-brewing rodeo, there was a lot to learn: while we’ve been busy building websites and running Kickstarter campaigns Dustin and Ryan learned some important things, like:

  • what happens when air bubbles get in your pumps
  • how fun it is when a hose burps 180-degree water on you
  • no matter what just happened, a bucket will probably help

In all seriousness, they taught us a lot, and as a result we’re hella proud of our brew (and our new skills). Who knows? Maybe this is the first of many lady-brewed Regulators.

 

On “Locally Sourced:” an explanation of our 75% promise.

First and foremost among Regulator Brewing Company’s values is our commitment regarding local ingredients: we’ve promised that we’ll buy at least 75% of the ingredients of each batch from local farms. This investment (even if, like us, it’s relatively small) keeps us in lockstep with our local economy and we couldn’t be happier about that. We’ve been asked some questions about what that means, so here goes:

The Good:

We are incredibly lucky to be located in central North Carolina. Not only does North Carolina farm over 400,000 acres of wheat a year, we’re home to two malt houses (soon to be three!). Research and services at NC State and Appalachian State, combined with NC farmers willing to experiment, are developing hops and small grain varieties that are hardier to our climate. Farm and food businesses in NC are supported by a growing number of initiatives to increase supply and improve access to local products: ECO, based in Durham, Pittsboro’s Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, and Farmer Foodshare in Chapel Hill, to name a few.

…the Confusing:

We define “local” as “within state borders,” with the odd addition from nearby South Carolina or Virginia. The closer to our brewhouse, though, the better. It’s been educational for us to learn how others define local: sometimes it’s shipped in from somewhere else and processed or packaged locally. Other times a blended product may be labeled “local” with only a small percentage of actual local ingredients. In short, there’s not one definition.  We’re doing our best to find the most transparently-local products we can, and in turn, our labels don’t promise anything more than we can deliver: “at least 75% local.” Check out our beer list: you’ll find an ingredient list for each batch on each beer’s description page.

… the Challenging:

If it were up to us, every batch would be 100% locally sourced. You may have noticed the brewery business in North Carolina is growing (whaaat?), and fortunately, so is interest in local food and drink! Securing the local ingredients we need for our recipes before they’re gone for the season hasn’t been easy–especially when supply is also subject to weather, pests, and diseases. We may be small, but we still need 3,000 pounds of grain a year and we can’t command the kind of contracts the big guys can.  In response, we’ve taken a strategic approach: we’re optimizing our recipes to minimize the effect of one ingredient’s availability on the end result.

The Takeaway

Rest assured that Regulator beer is as truly local as we can make it, with an eye toward keeping the beers you love consistent.  We’ll keep our supply chain open to you at all times. All we ask? Keep drinking local beer! The more interest there is in local food and beverage, the faster our agricultural supply chain can grow.


Like hearing about the nuts and bolts of the local food economy? This is just the beginning: as a regular feature here on the BrewLog we’re going to highlight a local agribusiness. Stay tuned!

Launch Weekend Success: THANK YOU.

Picture thanks to Dan Gridley (@FarmBoyFarms) Picture thanks to Dan Gridley (@FarmBoyFarms)

A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out this weekend to say hello and try a Regulator beer–you contributed to a more successful launch weekend than we could ever have hoped for!

You plowed through the first kegs of our flagship beers on Thursday, then drained our first seasonal release in record time.  Most importantly, you gave us amazing feedback. We’ve learned so much in the last four days and will be taking your comments back to the brewhouse.

Another great big ‘thank you’ goes to our hosts–the Wooden Nickel Pub and Mystery Brewing Company–and to everyone else who has supported us along the way. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Where can you find us, now that launch weekend is over?

Keep an eye on the Where to Find Us page; we’ll be doing our best to keep that up-to-date.

tshirtmockupDidn’t get a T-Shirt?

We’ll be printing some more soon; fill out the interest form (no name/email necessary) to help us put together our next order!

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All contents © 2018 Regulator Brewing Company
Hillsborough, North Carolina
regulatorbrewing@gmail.com
(919) 589-BREW