Saturday, August 13, 2011
New beer made with locally grown ingredients
Except for the spices, all the ingredients in Flying Dog Brewery’s new beer were grown by local farmers.
Hops, honey, corn and potatoes were used to concoct the new brew — “Secret Stash Harvest” ale — which was announced Friday.
Brewmaster Matt Brophy described the new beer as “a seasonal artistic expression of the season.”
Flying Dog Brewery’s goal is to increase the use of locally grown products every year, Brophy said.
“Brewing is the combination of art and science,” Brophy said. “One beer can have multiple ingredients — much more than the four traditional ingredients” of water, yeast, malted barley and hops.
The limited release of the new beer, which will be available in about six weeks in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, is also an annual celebration of the agriculture season. The event is open to anybody interested in supplying the brewery with ingredients it can use, Brophy said.
Some of Tom Barse’s hops are being used to make the new brew. “I’ve been working with Flying Dog for two years, and I applaud them for their foresight working with local farmers,” the Mount Airy farmer said. “They are reminding people that beer is an agricultural product. Everybody who works here make their living from the fruits of the earth. This beer is a case in point.”
The announcement of Secret Stash Harvest ale was also a celebration of local farmers and the locovore trend, said Jim Caruso, Flying Dog Brewery’s general partner and CEO.
“There’s an appreciation for locally grown food being fresher, better for the environment and supporting our neighbors,” Caruso said. “It’s not a new trend, but more and more people are yearning for local products. Especially in a high-tech world of BlackBerry devices, it’s nice to be closer to the earth, the community. But this is also about great beer.”
Flying Dog has used locally-grown products before “but this is the first time we’ve taken it to this level,” Caruso said. “We’ve established a greater network of local farmers.”
Che Carton, Leigh Buchanan III and Nathan Bell, grow hops in Freeland, near Baltimore, for Flying Dog.
“We’re here to develop a relationship with the brewery,” Carton said. “We’re part of the Maryland Hop Alliance and would like to be growing hops for a living and provide a fresher supply of hops.”
Carton and Buchanan said they would love to quit their jobs as carpenters and grow hops full time.
What is Brophy’s favorite beer?
“That’s like asking which kid is my favorite child,” Brophy replied.
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