On my last trip up to Hickory, NC, to check out the brewery's construction, Alexa, Mark and I popped into Olde Hickory Brewery to say, "Hey!" again to our new neighbors there. During the conversation, Steven Lyerly mentioned that a local hop farmer in the area had some fresh Cascade hops that we could use. The best part: We'd have to go out there and pick them ourselves. What?! How awesome is that? Fresh picked hops. Local ingredients. Local brew. Where do we sign up?
As we were driving up to Howard Brewing in Lenoir, NC, to check on Jason Howard's construction progress, we got to talking in the car about doing our best as a company to purchase local ingredients to help the local economy. Lots of breweries talk about being "Local," but are they actually purchasing local ingredients? Or, is it just their address that makes them local?
In that vein, I started searching for local maltsters. And, lo and behold, I found Riverbend Malt House. At the risk of admitting being late to a great party, Brent Manning of Riverbend told me that there were several North Carolina breweries that were currently purchasing their malts. Among them, Pisgah Brewing Company, Fullsteam Brewing Company, Weeping Radish Brewing Company, Mystery Brewing Company, Mother Earth Brewing, Natty Greene's, and a couple more. So, our hats off to these great breweries for not only brewing locally, but purchasing locally.
Going forward, I wanted to let our customers know that we are going to do our best to purchase local ingredients to make great LOCAL beers. After speaking with Brent Manning from Riverbend, I feel confident that they will do their best to provide us in the future with locally grown and produced malts that will set Skull Coast beers apart from the rest.
To read more about other local ingredient producers, go to Wort & Yeast's Report "Bringing It Home"