The Rise of Farm to Keg Breweries
Everyone’s heard of the expression “farm to table” in the context of a restaurant’s menu. In fact, it’s used so often, one must truly wonder how much of its meaning has been lost in translation. Now, the popular philosophy is beginning to make its way into the beer world with farm to keg breweries.
Beer makers are now more careful about the ingredients they use in their creations, being sure to use the highest quality possible when brewing. Big Foot Brewing in New York and Dirt Farm Brewing in Virginia are two microbreweries who have been given the legal freedom to grow, produce, and serve beer on agricultural land. Similar to how wineries operate, this rustic style is sure to become extremely trendy in 2016.
Perhaps the most obvious reason this will become popular is because of how health-conscious our society is becoming as a whole. As we learn more and more about preservatives used in things we consume, we strive to find healthier, organic options. This can be said not only for food, but for beverages we consume as well, including beer.
Another reason the farm to keg concept will be popular is beer connoisseurs—or those who wish to learn more about beer—will be able to taste differing beer based on region, much like wine lovers can do. For example, the beer coming from Big Foot Brewing in New York could have specific similarities and differences, some of which surely can be attributed to the region difference.
One advantage for brewers with the farm to keg idea is that it sets them apart from other breweries. With the popularity of craft breweries rising over the past few years, they are practically a dime a dozen at this point. The farm to keg concept is new and exciting. However, there is certainly some risk involved in growing your own ingredients for beer—as harvests can be unpredictable. This is a common theme seen with wine, as many times the price of wine will fluctuate depending on the year’s harvest. For example, in 2008, there was a “hops crisis,” due to bad weather and a shortage of hops. For big beer companies, this isn’t as much as a problem because most can afford to have contracts with farms, however smaller microbreweries ended up with low quality product, thus negatively affecting their final brew.
So what do you think? Will you become the next farm to keg brewery fanatic? It will certainly be interesting to watch the trend rise and see how it grows, and we can’t wait to try out the product!