Archive: Grower

Buying vs. Leasing Depends on Business, Experts Say

Cash on the barrelhead is a must for Rusty Cox’s barrels, or whatever equipment he needs to run Davis Valley Distillery LLC in Rural Retreat, VA. “If you have money to buy, you don’t have to worry about lease payments; just go ahead and pay for the stuff and get it,” says Cox, who makes spirits, wine “or just about anything you need.” Cox is getting ready to buy a 300-gallon system from Paul Hall of Doniphan, MO-based Affordable Distillery Equipment LLC, which sells stills, fermenters, air compressors, pumps, tube kits and an array of other implements a distillery needs. There’s even a bit of bartering involved in some transactions with Hall, Cox says. “Paul sends people over here, and […]

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GROWLERS: What are your options?

    For many brewmasters, growlers make them cringe, thinking of the loss of quality in their product from the moment it is poured. Imagining someone drinking a freshly tapped IPA two days after it was poured into a poorly sealed amber glass container is almost gut wrenching. However, the demand for growlers continues, and many have made it their mission to improve the growler experience, for both the brewmaster and the consumer. Every day new technologies become available to the beer industry, making growlers even more sought after, as a cheaper way to enjoy consumer favorites or small batch brews, or as collectibles that consumers seek out. For many breweries, tap rooms and beer retailers this gives them an […]

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The Hops Demand Squeeze Strategies to Save Money & Ensure Your Supply

Times are good for beer lovers in America. In 2014, almost 3,500 breweries slaked America’s thirst for the frosty beverage, with more than 3,400 of those classified as producing “craft” beers. By September of 2015, the number of breweries in the United States had grown to over 4,000. As with bread, wine, and coffee—three staples that have witnessed the American consumer mature to demand more than doughy white bread, heavily oaked chardonnays, and truck-stop coffee that tastes of burned popcorn—the American palette has also matured to appreciate more than just the refreshing but thin mass-produced lagers that have dominated the American beer scene for over a century. Enter aromatics. The centralization of breweries over the last century hurt hops production […]

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Alternative Malting Grains

Barley is arguably the most common grain used to make a base malt for brewing. Base malts set the stage for fermenting, by converting starches to sugar. Barley’s high enzymatic activity means that starch conversion is favored, and brewers can count on it to do its job. Base malts typically comprise more than 80 percent of the grain bill. But it isn’t all about the barley. Brewers also use other malted grains. Rye, wheat, sorghum- along with buckwheat, which is not a true grain – are some other crops which can be used to create base malts for brewing. These and other malted grains can also be used as components of barley based beers. With such a variety of malting […]

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Preparing for Next Year’s Growing Season

Now that the harvest is over for hops, barley, and rye, it’s time for the grower to prepare the soil for the next year. Experienced and novice growers alike are always looking for ways to improve the quality of their soil in an effort to beat the last year’s crop yield. Whether you who uses organic or conventional farming methods, there are several ways to increase the health of your soil to produce a higher quality grain. There are a plethora of products on the market as far as fertilizers, sprays, and pesticides for both farming methods. Some farmers choose to use organic treatments, but do not choose to go through the process to become a certified organic farm. Farm […]

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Fruit Trees & the Pests that Target Them

When it comes to craft beer, cider, and spirits, it’s all about the flavor. The craft beverage market no longer caters to the traditional. Consumers want exciting and complex flavor profiles in their beverages these days, urging producers to push the boundaries, always coming up with something new. Fruit is a great way to add something extra to a cider, beer, or spirit, whether you want to add just a hint fruit flavor or a bold punch in the mouth. However, as with any fresh produce item, the orchards where these fruit trees grow face their share of potentially harmful pests, which can ultimately impact the quantity and quality of fruit available to producers within the craft beverage industry. With […]

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Exciting NEW Opportunities for Farmers in the Craft Beverage Industry

The face of farming in America has changed greatly from the days of family farms where multiple vegetable and grain products were grown to feed both a family and livestock. The majority of farming today relies on dependable varieties of grains and specialized equipment for maintaining crop health and efficient harvesting in order to ensure a higher yield of produce. While organic farming and sustainable agriculture have gained popularity, niche markets only make up a small percentage of the nations agricultural output. Within the craft beverage industry, there has been growth within the farming industry to produce local products as well as organic options. Some breweries such as Climbing Bines in Penn Yan, NY pride themselves on using locally grown […]

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Digging In: Growing Malting Grains

  The food chain for craft beverage begins with the farmer. For brewers needing malted grains, the intermediate step is the malt house. But maltsters can’t utilize any old grains. They need varieties specifically grown for malting, and they need capable farmers to grow them. No matter how good a maltster is, the grains have to be of a premium quality in order to achieve a great malt. While the malting grain focus has centered around barley, corn kernels, wheat, rye and other grains can also be malted. Locally-grown malting grains for the emerging craft beverage industry are in demand across the nation. But just like most crops, malting grains have specific growing requirements in order to thrive. While the […]

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Hop Varieties

When it comes to hops, there are dozens of varieties for brewers to choose from. The majority of American hops are grown in Washington in the Yakima Valley. There are many that have been around for decades, such as Willamette and Cascade. However, new varieties like Summit and Amarillo have quickly gained popularity shortly after being released to brewers. Whether the brewer is looking for aroma hops or those used for bittering, this ingredient is essential to the brewing process. The crop itself can be difficult to grow and harvest successfully. The hop cones vary in size, depending on the variety and many are susceptible to fungus and diseases. The crop must also be harvested once it has reached the […]

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The Resurgence of the Malt House

Over the last several years malt houses have begun to spring up throughout the United States, making them the newest localized market in the beer industry. For many small breweries and home brewers, buying local is very important, but, in the past, finding local malt was nearly impossible. Now, thanks to the efforts of a handful of “micro-maltsters,” malt houses are now starting to pop up all over the country. The surge of malt houses has truly taken effect over the last five years. Prior to 2010, there were less than five producing micro-malt houses in the United States. While that number has only risen to around a dozen, those in the planning and construction stages is substantial, anywhere between […]

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