WHAT THE L?
Fullsteam Brewery in North Carolina has made a small change in the signage it uses at beer festivals.
A line that previously read “AUTUMN LAGER festbier, 6% ABV, 99% local” now reads “AUTUMN LAGER festbier, 6% ABV, 99% L.”
Fullsteam founder Sean Lilly Wilson explained why in the brewery’s newsletter.
The goal is two-fold: first, to intentionally have people ask “What is “L?”” That question provides an opportunity for dialogue. It allows us to share what we mean by local and why we believe it matters.
Secondly, the effort is to ultimately normalize it. Why waste time on IBUs when it’s a meaningless measurement of perceived bitterness? Why bother with SRM (a color metric) when you generally know a pils is going to be light and a porter dark?
L matters to us and to a growing number of breweries. L to us means Southern-sourced (overwhelmingly North Carolina) from independent farmers, foragers, maltsters, and tree growers.
Ultimately, we want customers to care more about origin and how buying local can strengthen the state’s agricultural sector. For us and a number of L-centric breweries, that matters more than specious statistics and formulas.
Truly local beer is a metric worth measuring. But in a No Laws When You’re Drinking Claws era, we have to find new ways to make it matter.”
Fullsteam has spent more than a half million dollars on local ingredients — local being Southern states, mostly North Carolina — since opening in 2010. “I hope to ramp that up each year, to where that $500k isn’t over nine years, but every year!” Wilson wrote via email.
The ingredients and where they come from:
Malted corn: From Riverbend Malt House in Asheville and Epiphany Craft Malt in Durham.
Malted barley: Foundation, Ruby and Vienna from Epiphany.
Malted triticale: From Epiphany.
Hops: Aramis from France and Saaz from Germany.
Yeast: House lager yeast (not of North Carolina origin).
Via Josh Chapman at Black Narrows Brewing Co.
Saturday was the @VACraftBeer Blue Ribbon festival at the state fair. It’s a farm-forward, ag-focused fest, and one of my favorites. Jeff from @murphyrudemalt came and did mini-mashes of beers served at the fest using his malt for side by side tasting. pic.twitter.com/3Vs4ZGmmL0
— joshchapman (@joshchapman) October 7, 2019
October 25, 2018 Emma and I were on Paul & Doris’ tractor at Turtle Pace Farm planting the last row of the first ever ESVA malting barley. Today, these beautiful bags hit our dock. The best part? The journey is just beginning. pic.twitter.com/uuG0NRVmf5
— joshchapman (@joshchapman) October 11, 2019
ASSUMING YOU LIVE IN NORTHERN BOTSWANA
Malted millet, coming soon to a beer near you. Assuming you live in northern Botswana… pic.twitter.com/ImfPpV7w0v
— Lucy Corne (@LucyCorne) October 15, 2019
— Perennial Artisan Ales (@PerennialBeer) October 17, 2019