Craft breweries have historically had strong ties to their local communities, and that connection notably comes through in a brewer’s use of locally sourced ingredients. By partnering with regional hop farms and malt purveyors, the craft beer industry is building a sustainable ecosystem by producing beers with remarkable local flavor.
1. Tröegs Brewing Company often uses local ingredients, especially to toy around with its scratch series of beers. An iteration of Tröegs’ Fresh Hop Ale utilized fresh Cascade and Centennial hops from Sunny Brae Hop Farm in Carlisle, as well as malt from Deer Creek Malthouse in Glen Mills. In fact, the Tröegs team loves fresh hops so much, they teamed up with Sunny Brae Hops to plant over 1,200 hop saplings across about two acres.
2. Sly Fox’s one-off Circle of Progress Pale Ale is a standout sustainable brew. The beer was brewed with local barley, which was grown by Two Particular Acres in Royersford, malted by Double Eagle Malt in Huntingdon Valley and mashed by Sly Fox. The waste was put back in the soil to enrich next year’s barley crop.
3. Stickman Brews also makes use of malt grown at Two Particular Acres and creates a similar cycle by returning its spent grain to the farm as compost for next year’s crop. The new Pennsylvania brewery embraces the local craft beer community and also sources its food ingredients from within 10 miles of the brewery’s Royersford location.
4. Hop Farm Brewing Company often serves up fresh hop ales, as they grow hops on-site in Pittsburgh and source what hops they can locally from the suburbs. Their food menu also provides an abundance of local greens and meats, which makes this a great farm-centric brewery.
5. Lancaster Brewing Company shows regard for local sustainability with its Hop Buggy Amber Ale. The brew utilizes locally grown Amish oats alongside wheat and rye grown in Lancaster County, which results in a truly Central Pennsylvania flavor.
The strong ties that these, and many other, Pennsylvania breweries have in their local community are resulting in a friendly and sustainable culture. By sourcing local ingredients and recycling waste, these businesses are showing their passion for producing a genuine product with local focus and a small carbon footprint.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit trade association that brings together leaders of Pennsylvania-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. Established in 2011, the Brewers of Pennsylvania serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. We believe in the nobility of brewing and hold dear the great traditions and history of Pennsylvania brewing.
Stickman Brews photo credit: courtesy of Miguel Rivas, The Beertrekker. Remaining photos credited to individual breweries.