August 22, 2007

Local beer, not quite

There's an article in this morning's Journal that illustrates some of the problems I've run into when thinking about what "local" food means. The Ithaca Beer Company, whose products I've always enjoyed, is going to build a silo to store malt, which comes from a supplier in Wisconsin.

Ithaca Beer certainly does its brewing locally, and sometimes (as in their Double IPA) with New York State hops, but the main body of the beer really isn't local food.

For now, Ithaca Beer isn't going to be coming home to my refrigerator. (It's not a great loss to them, since I'm drinking very little beer lately anyway.) I do look for it (and other beer brewed in New York) if I'm out someplace where I'm not bound by the local eating approach we've adopted, since it's more local than the alternatives - but I can't say it fits in a shopping basket meant to come home. (If they do brew a 100% NY/PA beer, I'll be happy to give it a try!)

Posted by simon at August 22, 2007 9:31 PM in
Note on photos


Becky said:

Have you tried Ellicotville Brewing Company ( From my hometown and rather good -- I don't know if they use local ingredients, but you can ask.

NYCO said:

I'm a fan of their Apricot Wheat brand. (so is there anyone brewing with local hops?)

Now that I see the labels, I'm pretty sure that I had Ellicotville beer and enjoyed it.

On local hops, Ithaca brews a Double IPA with local hops. I'd thought Wagner was brewing with local hops, but I don't see that on their web site.

I don't think it would be that hard to find local barley and hops in homebrewing quantities; maybe I'll try that next summer.

Eric B said:

Wagner's IPA is with the same hops Ithaca DIPA uses, from Seneca Falls, just not as intensely. Not sure if anyone brews an all NY ingredient beer, now that's a worthy venture!