While most Asian cultures make alcohol from rice, the Bhutanese farmhouse ales Sin Chang and Bang Chang start with 100 percent raw wheat. Reserved for religious and special occasions, these Wheatwines are a part of life for many.
In states with farm brewery licenses, adding a brewery gives farmers the ability to use their crops in a product that they can sell directly to consumers, thus creating a new revenue stream, bringing tourism to the farm and forging a sense of community.
New York State’s introduction of the Farm Brewery License in 2013, paired with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration’s pro-brewery stance, has encouraged small farm breweries to open in the Hudson Valley.
Flying Dog plans to establish Farmworks, a brewery focusing on unique, small-batch brews, in Lucketts, Va. The brewhouse will include a coolship, a barrel aging and souring facility, a cellar and a tasting room and hospitality area.
The Oxbow brewery sits on 18 acres in mid-coast Maine and the brewhouse is housed in an old barn. Tim Adams, Oxbow’s co-founder and head brewer, brews for a living because he believes beer is an amazing culinary creative outlet.
Joe Pond is a chemical engineer who brews with a decidedly pre-industrial mindset. Olvalde Farm and Brewing Co., the southeastern Minnesota brewery he founded two and a half years ago, is a throwback to the rural, agriculturally focused brewhouses that existed before refrigeration and malt catalogues.
As the founding brewmaster of Full Sail Brewing, and the founder and longtime head of Wyeast Laboratories, David Logsdon carries a huge footprint in the craft industry, especially in the Pacific Northwest. But he made a conscious effort to keep his latest venture, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, at a modest scale.
In 2006, when Matt Keasey opened the doors to the Spring House brewery—which is located in the barn on his property outside the city limits—he learned a valuable lesson about just how magnetic beer can be.
The original plan was to build Jester King in an industrial part of Austin, but when a local farmer just outside the city offered his 200-acre farm as a brewery site, the three managing partners accepted. Today, Jester King is producing some of Texas’ most intriguing beers in a style that seems more suited to Belgium than the American Heartland.
Anheuser-Busch: brewing your area code?; Sunoco testing growlers to-go in western NY; beloved friend of beer, Ray Deter, passes away; Senate Small Brewers’ Caucus formed; and change in Massachusetts law threatens dozens of small brewers.
Better beer was born “outside the box,” and continues to evolve removed from the mainstream today. The result has been an industry of rebels and renegades who defy classification, like David Anderson, who is quietly making curious and interesting beers at Dave’s BrewFarm in Wilson, Wis.
Crannóg Ales’ head brewer, Brian MacIsaac, is a very proud Irishman who toured the globe playing bass in the punk band Immoral Minority. Today, instead of mohawks and mosh pits, it’s brewing organic beer that lets him crowdsurf the world.