Dairy Farms starting to brew beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by dennis3951, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,440) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Interesting article. Really rang a bell with me as the brewery project I was involved in was set to open with a brew house made of re-purposed 9 barrel stainless dairy tanks, for exactly the price and sanitation qualities the article mentions.
    dennis3951 likes this.
  2. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,060) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    First thing that comes to mind is the challenge of keeping a sanitary brewing operation separate from tending cattle on the same premises, when there are likely some staff and/or family going back and forth. Granted that this is somewhat true in a dairy operation where they need the milkhouse to be clean, though from my experience milkhouse floors are not completely sanitary, as people move back and forth from the barn.
  3. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,010) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I wish them every success, this is precisely the sort of operation I could support were I a local.
    LeRose likes this.
  4. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (832) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    "The farm opened Stone Cow Brewery in 2016, making beers like the Roll in the Hay I.P.A"

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  5. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (832) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    The following is a neat story, however:

    Dairies also adapt empty tanks for alternate uses — as Josh Cody’s family eventually did after its dairy farm in Alamosa, Colo., fell on hard times in the mid-1990s. “It just wasn’t fiscally viable for a family operation our size to milk cows,” said Mr. Cody, who was 12 when dairy operations wound down.

    The farm started producing barley on a large scale for Coors Brewing. But family members sold off land, until, by 2006, the remaining fields weren’t economically viable. “We were following the normal farm story in America where we almost went bankrupt,” Mr. Cody said.

    In a last-ditch effort, the family began a malting operation, transforming raw barley into more valuable malt — beer’s main building block. The family retrofitted a dairy tank to store the malt, and created the
    Colorado Malting Company in 2008.

    At its taproom, the brewery sells pints of its Roll in the Hay I.P.A. for $7. By contrast, the brewery gets about 16 cents for a pint of its wholesale milk.

    In April, the farm finished the final leg on its beer journey, opening the
    Colorado Farm Brewery. “We’re making estate beers,” Mr. Cody said. As the head brewer, he uses the farm’s hops, grain, well water and a yeast strain native to the property.
  6. Keene

    Keene Editorial Director (826) Sep 11, 2009 Washington

  7. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,342) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    If the beer is good sure, I am 100% behind it. But if farmers decided to make some yellow water called beer in hopes of cashing in then pass. So my view is if they are doing this then they need to focus on it 100%. I know farming is a full time job, just wondering how they can do both with 100% commitment?
  8. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,010) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Presumably that's why they hired a brewer but yeah, if the boss isn't hands on the project may drift. Looks like this couple are in for some long hours but farmers are used to that.
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  9. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,342) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    Exactly, if they are all in or have a full time staff that is perfect. Just thinking of other farmers who want to try this and maybe do both at same time. Then it could turn into a flop.

    I really like the idea because we have a similar set up down the way. One of our local farmers owned tons of land here, over the years he has sold it off and made homes on it, restaurants, and now he has a brewery going, coffee shop, etc. So the concept is cool, people are lined up daily. One step he took that is really awesome is part of the land is still a farm and the homeowners who live there get to farm and pick food for themselves. What a visionary, he took the farm to table concept and made it literally farm to table lol.

    Hope it works for our farmers, they take a beating and work massive hours to provide for their families.

    Squire likes this.
  10. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (543) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    That's just terroir... specialize in "Farmhouse" styles and beer nerds will line up. :wink:
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  11. woodchipper

    woodchipper Savant (979) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut

    Read the article on the NYT site before it was posted here. My wife and I immediately added it as as stop next time we visit her brother.
    Went to their website that day, its well done, but everything listed on the events page occurred in the recent past. I assume they attend to the cows and the beer better than the web page.
  12. rozzom

    rozzom Crusader (713) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    Feel like there’s a lactose IPA joke to be made here
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  13. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (543) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I considered joking about milk stouts, but it was out of date. :smirk:
  14. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (851) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Highland Brewing in Asheville opened/started in 1994. I used to run into Oscar Wong on the streets of Greensboro peddling his kegs. This was the mid-nineties. We sat down one day and he told me his entire story, which included the fact that he had re-purposed old dairy equipment into an active brewery..What a great story then and now. His daughter runs the company now and the beers- while always quite good- have evolved beautifully into this modern beer world. Oscar is a true pioneer and visionary who has built a lasting piece of the current and future Asheville brewing scene.
    cavedave likes this.