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On the Road with Beer Sessions Radio
58 minutes | Nov 1, 2016
Episode 4: Back to the Roots
In the final episode of On the Road with Beer Sessions Radio Season One, host Jimmy Carbone travels to the Finger Lakes. He visits The Farmhouse Brewery in Owego, the first malting house in New York State in over a decade and one of only a handful also brews in-house. You’ll hear from a top grains farmer about the challenges he faces to produce and distribute unique, artisanal grains to brewers. You’ll also meet the experts who support him in his work. Up in Ovid, Jimmy visits Blackduck Cidery and meets the whole family behind some of the best cider in the state. Plus, meet the community behind New York cider at Finger Lakes Cider House. The Farmhouse Brewery Marty and Natalie Mattrazzo are the visionaries behind The Farmhouse Brewery in Owego, NY. Their motto is “farm fresh from ground to glass." Their delicious brews are a combination of the freshest ingredients, and Marty’s refined palate creates art in every pint. Diligent small grains farmers from all over New York State grow their barley. Only the highest quality grain makes its way to their on-site malt house, where they malt each batch of barley using a time-tested artisanal process. Their hops are of the highest quality that they can source from seasoned hops growers with New York State. The New York hops industry is currently expanding to again become a major supplier of hops varieties to the entire Northeast United States. Oechsner Farms Located in Newfield, New York, just south of Ithaca, Oechsner Farms is a feast for the senses. Thor Oechsner, owner and multi-talented, is the grandson of a German baker. As a teenager he was able to convince his parents to allow him to turn their suburban yard into his first cornfield. Oechsner graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Cornell and by 1991 had started a three-acre vegetable farm while also running a Volkswagen and Audi repair business. Oechsner now farms approximately 600 acres of certified organic grains on rented land throughout the Finger Lakes region. In addition, as part owner of Wide Awake Bakery, Oechsner sees a similar benefit to the bakery business as he does the milling operation. He is more interested in the role that the bakery serves as a tool for marketing for the unique and heritage grain varieties that he produces. Blackduck Cidery We visited Blackduck Cidery in the town of Ovid, NY in the Finger Lakes region. It’s a family run orchard that produces cider, Perry, and vinegar in small batches, using ambient yeast fermentation. John Reynolds and Shannon O’Connor run the operation of the cidery along with their two beautiful redheaded daughters, Idunn and Pippin. They have been growing fruit in the Finger Lakes region of New York for well over a decade. They sell fresh fruit using organic standards through farmer’s markets, restaurants, natural groceries and their farm stand. John is expert in his knowledge about orchards, apples, fruits and anything cider-related. A former student of Cornell University and later employed as a field technician, John actively supports professors in their research of orchards, harvest and post-harvest work. Shannon is more focused on the smooth running and operations of the business, along with the grunt work in the field, while juggling being a mother of two. In her “free” time she also is the Director of the Edith B. Ford library in Ovid, NY. Idunn, the elder daughter, is the master fruit tester and critic. Pippin is the youngest and newest member of the clan; she is just very cute and very skilled at flower picking. Finger Lakes Cider House The Finger Lakes Cider House at Good Life Farm in Interlaken, NY is a certified organic farm and a full diet CSA. The Finger Lakes Cider house is a collaborative multi-cidery tasting room. Melissa Madden and Garrett Miller started the operation in 2008 after purchasing 69 acres of land, mostly growing corn, wheat and soy. Since them it has transformed into a diverse ecological farm, they have planted bushes and trees and bought turkeys, geese, beef cows, and draft horses. They produce their Good Life Cider, a distinctive American style and creatively blended with international influences. Their range is based on traditional bittersweet apples and sharp, acidic heirloom fruits. At the Cider House, they feature their own cider as well as amazing ciders from other cidery friends. Each of these dedicated grower-producers live and work in the Finger Lakes region, and their ciders are true Finger Lakes originals.
56 minutes | Aug 30, 2016
Episode 3: License to Brew
In this episode of On the Road with Beer Sessions Radio, host Jimmy Carbone travels to the Capital region near Albany, New York. You’ll hear from the farmers of Indian Ladder Farms about how they became leaders in the region for growing hops, and about how the farm brewery license, created by lawmakers in the nearby capital, has enhanced their business and made their farm more viable. The license to brew and serve beer on site has allowed local beverage producers to prosper. In the nearby town of Rensselaerville, you’ll meet the people behind a brewery that is primarily dedicated to learning the best ways to use New York State grains and hops in beer. Finally, we visit the capitol building in Albany and a nearby brewer who has chosen not to source completely locally-- for some unexpected reasons. Carey Institute / Helderberg Brewery Helderberg Brewery is a project of the Carey Institute’s Sustainable Communities Program, located on the Carey Institute’s 100-acre estate in Rensselaerville. It is a fully operational farm brewery and brewery incubator led by Rebecca Platel, the Sustainable Communities Program and Brewery Manager, and Greg Hostash, the Head brewer. Helderberg works to build a farm-to-glass supply chain connecting farmers, malt houses and craft beverage producers in the Capital Region. They've hosted workshops since 2013 for farmers interested in growing hops and small grains, and provide frequent hands-on learning and technical workshops for the region’s many craft beverage producers. Indian Ladder Farms Laura Ten Eyck, the great granddaughter of Indian Ladder Farms founder, Peter Ten Eyck, and her husband, Dietrich Gehrig, are continuing their family’s century-old tradition of living close to the land. What began in 1916 as a dairy farm with Guernsey cattle has developed over four generations to become a prolific apple orchard that yields delicious cider. Indian Ladder Farms now grows its own hops and barley, much to the delight of those who have a passion for the beer they brew. Their vision is to stay “hyper-local,” growing ingredients and making their own products for the Albany community while preserving the pristine landscape via a land trust. Laura and Dietrich recently published The Hop Grower’s Handbook, which provides an inspiring account of the history of hop cultivation on the land surrounding their farm as well as practical guidance for those who would like to join the ‘farm to glass’ movement. C.H. Evans Brewing Co. / Albany Pump Station Now located in the original water pumping station for the Albany Water Works, C. H. Evans Brewing Co. has been the work of the Evans family for three generations. Their original brewery was built in Hudson, NY in 1786 and it continued production until prohibition in 1920. In 1999, Neil Evans decided to revive his family’s historic brewery. Today, Neil and Head Brewer Scott Veltman, formerly of Brewery Ommegang, are rebuilding the Evans' beer legacy by sourcing ingredients from local farmers as frequently as possible and recreating historic early 19th century recipes like Albany Ale. C.H. Evans also has developed new classics; such as their Award-winning English style Kick-Ass Brown Ale, a real crowd pleaser.
58 minutes | Jul 26, 2016
Episode 2: Edge of the Wild!
In the second episode of On the Road with Beer Sessions Radio, travel with host Jimmy Carbone to the Edge of the Wild! In the Catskills region of New York State, you'll meet a former racetrack veterinarian who uses his chemistry background to distill unique buckwheat liquor and whole wheat vodka, a cider maker who takes his cues from texts written about apples in the 1800s, a brewery owner who was part of saving New York City’s water through anti-fracking advocacy, and one of the first (legal) absinthe producers in the United States. photos by Miguel Rivas, the Beer Trekker Aaron Burr Cider Andy Brennan, the visionary behind Aaron Burr Cider, makes bold moves - much like those of his cidery's historic namesake. Also a painter and architectural draftsman, Andy uprooted his life in Brooklyn and traded it for the quiet sanctuary of Wurtsboro, New York. Just as his cidery is situated on a homestead that dates back to the early 19th century, Andy draws inspiration and practical guidance from old farming almanacs, citing the wisdom that was recorded 100 years ago about apple cultivation to be the most trustworthy. There is no comparing apples to apples when it comes to ciders: The variety of apples required to make delicious cider are not the apples typically available to consumers. Aaron Burr Cider specializes in foraging wild apples for its ciders, creating heavenly blends of Golden Russet, Empire, Idared and crab-apple varieties. The Catskill Distilling Company The Catskill Distilling Company is a labor of love for Monte Sachs, its founder. Distilling and fermentation had long been a hobby for Monte. While studying to be a equine veterinarian in Italy, he became fascinated by the art of making traditional grappa. After many years pursuing his passion for working with horses at the Monticello Raceway, Monte again pursued distilling as a pastime, bringing The Catskill Distilling Company to life. His full-bodied, delectable buckwheat liquor is the only liquor of its type produced in the United States. Fascinatingly, buckwheat liquor is a special variety of "whisky" made from buckwheat malt, a non-grain plant of the sorrel and rhubarb family. Catskill Brewery Catskill Brewery is a thriving example of what is possible when four friends have a dream and work together to achieve it. The founders live by the "leave no trace" principle of outdoor exploring and aspired to build a green brewery - an operation that is completely energy-efficient, community-centered and environmentally friendly. In 2014, they accomplished their goal: The internal temperature of the brewery is maintained by geothermal energy and the entire facility is powered by solar energy. Visitors to the Catskill Brewery will also notice its green roof, permeable driveway pavers and electric car charging stations. Locals love Catskill's beers, their ongoing partnerships with local farmers and the recently-established food co-op. All of these sustainability-minded contributions make Catskill Brewery a valued presence in the Hudson Valley community. Delaware Phoenix Distillery When the United States Department of the Treasury relaxed their position on the sale of absinthe in 2007, Cheryl Lins, a former computer programmer and water colorist, was the first distiller in New York State to make two versions of the spirit at Delaware Phoenix, her micro-distillery. After receiving several orders for the green fairy liquid from European enthusiasts, Cheryl procured a distilling copper-pot from Portugal and Pierre Duplais Bible of 19th-century distillation techniques book and began to experiment. Cheryl cherishes the mindful pace of Delaware County life as she distills, designs the labels and delivers her exquisite absinthe to local markets and to her customers. This episode featured music by The Hollows, Lobo Loco, Doctor Turtle, Chris Zabriskie, Bad Citizen, James Beaudreau, and Mary Lattimore
54 minutes | Jun 21, 2016
Episode 1: The New Primitives
In the first episode of On the Road with Beer Sessions Radio, you will travel with us to the Hudson Valley region. Although it’s only about an hour’s drive from New York City, you feel like you’re in a different world. The Hudson Valley is an historic beer-making region, but with the rise of industrialization and cheap transportation, breweries virtually disappeared for most of the 20th century. Then, in the last few years, locals again began to appreciate and demand craft, local beer, which attracted experienced brewers to the region to open their first ever breweries. The brewers wanted to make their beer in a traditional ways with ties to the community and local products, like it was made in the region over 100 years ago. Thus, Beer Sessions host Jimmy Carbone dubbed them “the new primitives.” From The Ground Brewery: From The Ground Brewery is a labor of love for Jakob Cirell, owner and brewer. A mechanical engineer by trade, Jake pursues his passion brewing at the Migliorelli farm in Red Hook, New York. Hudson Valley ingredients and produce from the Migliorelli Farm play a starring role in Jakob’s beers. What's most extraordinary about From The Ground brewery is its small-batch operation. As a one-man operation, Jake's hands are in every step of the making process. The beers can be found at Hudson Valley restaurants and bars, local farmers' markets and a couple of farmers' markets in New York City. Migliorelli Farm: The farms in the Hudson Valley region of Upstate New York increasingly supply local breweries with the fine ingredients required to brew world-class beer. In 2013, the Migliorelli Farm, a third generation family-owned operation that specializes in vegetables and fruits, began growing barley with brewers in mind. Ken Migliorelli runs the show at the farm and shared the rich history about his family's farming practices with us. Barley has been both an investment and a passion project, and Ken has an expansive vision for it in the years ahead. Hudson Valley Malt: After the grains have been selected and harvested at the farm, the next step in the beer making process is to allow the grains to germinate by soaking in water. Then, they are halted from germinating further by drying with hot air. This process is called malting. Dennis and Jeanette Nesel converted part of their horse barn into a malting facility a year ago. They convert the barley into malt the way it was done over a hundred years ago. Mr. Nesel likes to refer to the process as “old-school heritage malting”. The husband and wife team have been working very closely with local Migliorelli Farm and From the Ground Brewery in a beautiful symbiosis. Suarez Family Brewery: Opening a brewery is no easy task; it’s a gigantic endeavor with many things that are out of the brewer’s control. Dan and Taylor Suarez are facing all of these obstacles, but that has not changed his calm nature even a little bit. We met Dan and Taylor at their brewery and tasting room. Together they have been working hard for the past year to get their space up and running and sorting out unexpected delays. Taylor has been taking care of the operations and business part of the brewery while also attending to her own company, Good Food Jobs. Dan’s reknowned in the beer world through his experience at breweries such as Sixpoint Brewery in New York City, Hill Farmstead in Vermont and OEC in Connecticut. His brewery, opening this summer, is highly anticipated. Plan Bee Farm Brewery: Located inside a barn built almost 200 years ago in Poughkeepsie, New York, we arrived to Plan Bee Farm Brewery’s 25 acre farm. Everything grown on the farm is used to make Evan and Emily Watson’s beer. Equipped with a 10 barrel brew house, they have been brewing their beers since October 2015 in their new home. Evan and Emily are a husband and wife team who specialize in farmhouse ales, or as Evan likes to call them “Barn Beer,” as well as coolship or open fermentation beers. Evan and Emily Watson are the owners and masterminds behind Plan Bee Farm Brewery. Evan is also an accomplished musician and has toured with Heart and Def Leppard. He named his brewery both after the bees that provide the microflora open fermentation for his beer as well as the fact that beer-making was a second choice career path for him. Daughters Fare and Ale: Daughters Fare and Ale is a culinary partnership between Ryan and Rachel McLaughlin, local restaurateurs offering simple, delicious food and a lineup of seasonal, locally-brewed craft beers. Ryan and Rachel share a background in the culinary industry, having worked in several well renowned restaurants in New York City before making the move to the Hudson Valley. They both appreciate good beer and thoughtfully select a short, solid draft list that is constantly in rotation. Valuing their community, Ryan and Rachel source foods for their restaurant from Hudson Valley producers as often as possible. They're committed to buying from neighboring farmers and maintaining relationships with nearby brewers to serve their beers fresh, on draft. Daughters Fare and Ale is an ideal gathering place for locals and passers-by to gather around the table for a nice meal and to sit back and enjoy a beer or two. It has a friendly, welcoming vibe that has a way of making everyone feel right at home.
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