From grain to glass
New York Terroir
At Arrowood Farms in New York, they brew beer.
They brew beer in total accordance with the change of seasons, the whims of the weather, and the unique profile of the land itself. Food Inspiration paid a visit to Arrowood and found that idealism and entrepreneurship can co-exist.
The biodynamic beer farm Arrowood Farms http://www.arrowoodfarms.com/ is located less than two hours’ drive away from New York City. It is an ideal spot for city folk to unwind and escape hectic city life. Here they can enjoy a taste of the outdoors, and the seasonal brews of Arrowood.
The thing that makes Arrowood Farms stand out among its peers is that they let nature dictate the brewing process. The farm incorporates all aspects of farming into a self-sustaining, circular ecosystem, with the brewing process as its beating heart. Everything that happens on this farm contributes to the process in its own way. They keep ducks because duck droppings are rich in nitrogen, and nitrogen is essential for cultivating quality hops. They keep bees to encourage natural pollination of the same hops. They plant flowers to support the bees. The sheep are there to keep the area around the hops free of unwanted plant life, which allows the hops to grow optimally. And in the end, what remains of the hops after the harvest is fed to the pigs.
Because Arrowood Farms puts nature first, they don’t try to manipulate nature into creating the kind of beer they want. Rather, they allow nature to take its course, and make beer based on what the farm provides. Every season at Arrowood results in different kinds of beer. Last year’s flavors are ever so slightly different from this year’s, and this year’s from the next.
Serenity versus entrepreneurship
‘The city needs the countryside, just as the countryside needs the city,’ says Arrowood Farms co-founder Blake Arrowood. He founded the farm along with business partner Jacob Meglio three years ago. After having lived in New York City for several years, both men decided it was time for a change of pace, and time to combine a sense of peace and serenity with their entrepreneurial drive. ‘We supply our beers to several places in New York, but the best place and way to enjoy our beers is here at our farm. Here we introduce our guests to the circle of nature. During our tasting sessions in our gardens we can help them truly experience terroir while they enjoy a good beer. That’s what makes us happy, that’s gold to us. Living with nature like that, that’s what life should be like.’
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