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Dispatches from the brewing local front

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).

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

Via Josh Chapman at Black Narrows Brewing Co.

ASSUMING YOU LIVE IN NORTHERN BOTSWANA

HOMINY

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