One of my favorite parts of homebrewing is sharing the beer that I make. Whether it’s having a couple of friends over for a basement or backyard tasting session, or bringing a keg to a party or gathering, it’s always fun (and a little nail-bitingly nervous) to share my creations with friends and strangers alike. I’ve always brewed more than I can personally consume, so it also helps keep things moving.
So when Greta from Featherstone Farm in Rushford emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in brewing for a farm dinner event there, I got over my initial anxiety about brewing enough beer for 150 people and humbly, but excitedly said “yes!”.
For those that don’t know about Dinner On The Farm, it’s a great idea: their mission is to “connect people to where their food comes from, the people who grow and nurture it and the chefs and restaurants that support the local food system.” They specialize in unique dining adventures, emphatically supporting local farms. They do a monthly “traveling farm dinner”, where each event is held on a local farm, featuring food from local farms, restaurants, musicians, and breweries. You can click the link to learn more about the great, one-of-a-kind events that Monica and her crew put on. Great stuff!
I’ll be taking part in September’s farm dinner (which is sold out!), alongside my friends at Boat House, and the fun sounds of Beet Root Stew.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been brewing up a storm for this fun event. My plan is to serve four different beers, and three are already brewed. I was given the green light to brew whatever I wanted, so my idea was to brew stuff that’s true to what I love, as well as beers that will pair well with a laid-back, outdoor dining experience. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
Equinox- A hefty 7% ABV India Pale Ale brewed with wheat, and utilizing five different hops: Columbus, Amarillo, Simcoe, Mosaic, and El Dorado. A dryer, west coast-style IPA with a lot of nose, and a hefty kick.
SESH- My ‘house’ beer. SESH is a 4% American Pale Ale, low on IBU and gravity, but the Cascade and Simcoe hops added dry give it a lift. Kegs of this have been brought to a couple of events and have been drained very quickly. Always a joy to brew (and enjoy) this one.
Dust Devil- This one is interesting. I was thinking of making a Cream Ale (something Spotted Cow-like), as it’s a great outdoor session beer. In reading about them, I came across Kentucky Common. This style was popular in the pre-prohibition era in Kentucky, and features barley, rye, and corn. It’s basically a slimmed down bourbon grain bill, but lightly hopped and served fresh. Commercially, it’s all but extinct, though there are a few that have been made. It’s a brown ale, and mine is expected to come in around 4% ABV.
I still plan on brewing one more, and will probably get that in order this week, and will likely brew it within the next two weeks. It’s been a lot of fun to knock out a bunch of larger batches. I’m still working out a few logistical aspects regarding serving, but for the most part, it’s pretty much all sorted out.
I’m looking forward to serving these to folks and getting their feedback, as well as taking part in such a fantastic opportunity, which I am very grateful for!