18 March 2015
Is your "local beer" really all that local?
Most micro brewers utilize hops and grains sourced from the same suppliers that those famous beechwood guys use...
No better example of this exists than Central Oregon, where we not only have a world class malt supplier (http://www.meccagrade.com/) but also a host of local hop producers, such as:
In wine this 'local' quality is known by the French word, terroir and like wine, beer can develop a pronounced flavor profile based on the conditions the hops and grains were grown in - and while the French word is accurate I prefer the German term Zeitgeist, which basically means that a person, place or thing in this case hops is made up of the spirit/influences of the times in which it was created. In short a hops flavor profile is influenced by the elements (Water, soil, weather, ...) that were present during its development.
Sure it might cost a bit more to source local ingredients such as hops but in doing so brewers have an opportunity to craft a unique beer enriched by the same environment that they serve all while supporting the community they live and brew in...
Brew Local. Source local!