Monday, June 23, 2014

The Farmhouse Brewery and Farmhouse Malt - Evidence of the Changing American Beer Scene (NY)

The Farmhouse Brewery  and Farmhouse Malt is serious business. How serious? They malt their own grains on-site in their commercial malthouse.  Every batch of beer is brewed with the freshest malt available, customized to that style of beer.  In 2012 they established FarmHouse Malt in Newark Valley, New York - the first commercially licensed malthouse in New York State since prohibition.  The malthouse will not only supply all of The FarmHouse Brewery’s malt, but also an increasing amount of malt to farm breweries and farm distilleries across the state. 

Having received their “farm brewery” licensing in late 2013, they are now tasting their beers for the first time. I was lucky enough to get a taste of their stuff at the 2014 Owego Strawberry Festival in Owego, NY. In addition to their Newark Valley farm brewery, they plan to open a Tasting Room location in Owego, New York very soon.


The cool thing about The Farmhouse Brewery is their sister business Farmhouse Malt -a malting house that offers malting classes, approximately $200 apiece. Classes include:
MALTING 101 - Malt defined, How to get started, Writing a business plan, Engaging with local farmers & Start-up costs. 
MALTING 201 - Discussion of pneumatic malting techniques, DIY malting tanks, Brewing lesson, Malt tastings, From malthouse to brewery, How to clean & prepare grain. 
MALTING 301 - Malting styles defined, Knowing your brewer & distiller, In-house testing, Out-of-house testing, Your niche’, Connecting with other maltsters, Malt & terroir. 


As for their beers? I only tasted two. The first was the Rhub Hollow a golden yellow-ish ale, with a decided scent of Rhubarb. They say it's strawberry rhubarb...but I didn't get the strawberry at all. However, it was a nice cloudy pale ale. Very nice. Very easy drinking beer. Refreshing.
The second was an experience. It was the beer everyone asked: “Did you try that?” The other beer was Ayam Cemani, a Black Saison! Big and roasty, the dark, roasted grains were big and delicious, even as the sourness of the saison began to kick in with its dark fruitiness and its spiciness. Wonder if they used traditional Saison spices such as Spices such as orange zest, coriander, or ginger. I don't know.I forgot to ask at the time. A strange beer, in that, there are not too many dark saisons out there in the world. Most are a cloudy yellow, and there are a number that are reddish, however, this was dark porter/stout colored. But it was pretty amazing.
A fascinating new place on the American (and east coast) beer map scene!