January 2017 – Local Beer Getting More Local!
Laughing Sun Brewing Company is excited to announce Sinister Pear, our Belgian-style Golden Strong Ale, has gone to an all North Dakota grain bill. Two Track Malting in Lincoln, ND is malting barley grown on the Stober Farm near Goodrich, ND, and has been supplying us with locally grown and processed North Dakota malt for nearly 6 months. We have been working with Chris Fries, maltster at Two Track on crafting flavors for our beers, and giving them feedback as we go along. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of local beer becoming more local. We have transitioned our base malt, munich, and pilsen malts with Two Track’s products, and are excited to be testing the first of their new specialty malts. Reviews coming, but first test results have been excellent!
Fall 2016, also produced the first pelletized hops from Ostlie Sunnyside Acres near Carrington, ND. Glacier was the predominant variety produced this year, and lent a really nice berry, woody, slight pine notes to our all North Dakota malt and hop pilot batch of Experiment 3 Pale Ale. Slight changes coming to this beer, but exciting to know we are very close on getting an all ND craft beer into production on a semi-regular, if not all year schedule. Hop harvests are going to be the determining factor on this project going forward, and many growers are exploring the idea of growing hops in ND.
And in case you were unaware, for many years now we have been experimenting with locally-grown fruits from Opdahl Orchards near Harvey, ND. Chokecherries, plums, apricots, nanking and carmine jewel cherries, and aronia berries are some of the varieties we have used in the past. We also try to involve local growers on our pumpkins (Roving Donkey Farms, Bismarck), and the local food coop with ginger, spices, etc.
The Brewers Association judges over 90 categories of beer at the Great American Beer Festival, most of which started as regionally-crafted beers, using locally-grown products that were available to the brewers of the day. We couldn’t think of a better way to make local beer than with locally-grown ingredients, from people we know. It seems to be the essence of craft beer, and we are proud to be a part of it! Thanks for supporting local hand-crafted beer!
Todd and Mike