What’s Making Us Happy to Brew in NC, Part 2: Local Maltsters using Local Grain grown by Local Farmers
In part two of our NC Beer Month series, we’re taking you back to the beginning of the beginning – where the grain in our beer comes from and how it gets to us. Since we use at least 75% local ingredients in each batch of our beer, this is really important to us. Did you know that we also tell which what’s in each batch? For us a big part of “local” means “transparent” – so you know exactly what you’re drinking.
Here’s our bold, 100% true claim: Neither our brewery nor locally-sourced-NC-grown Beer from Here would be possible without folks like Brent Manning, Brian Simpson and their team at Riverbend Malthouse.
Brent and Brian started and run Riverbend in Asheville, and they work with and buy from grain farmers (our heroes!) within a 500-mile radius of the malthouse. That includes a growing network of farmers in NC, VA, and KY (pun and double entendre intended). This regional variety is crucial to make sure things like the weather/pests/plant disease don’t ruin an entire year’s crop. We are, after all, making an agricultural product derived from agricultural products. Getting that cold pint into your hot little hands depends on A LOT of things beyond human control going right. We’re pretty sure that makes beer a miracle.
Back to Riverbend! Last fall, Brent was kind enough to give us a tour of their new and bigger facility, explain their floor malting process, and tell us more about how Riverbend is connecting farmers and brewers – or using the food systems lingo, closing the supply-side infrastructure gap to make Beer from Here possible. You can also tour Riverbend – they think transparency is cool, too!
They can certainly tell their story better than we can, so we’d really encourage you to check out their website and blog. Full disclosure: Their pictures are way better than ours, but here’s a few we took on our visit!
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.