Friday, May 28, 2010

Nature versus FIBC: A Day at Stone Barns

Road trip! Earlier this week, we took a little spin on the New York State Thruway up to the Stone Barns Center For Food & Agriculture in Tarrytown. We’re on the prowl for fresh local ingredients to include in our fall brew and couldn’t imagine a more scenic place to kick off our agricultural education. Housed on the former Rockefeller dairy farm, the impossibly elegant property was donated in memory of Peggy Rockefeller, a champion of farmland protection.

Berries, thyme, pigs, and hops, the list of possible ingredients grown at Stone Barns runs as long and deep as your love for our Lighthouse Ale. Stone Barns also plays host to Blue Hill Farm restaurant (yes, sister to the highly praised eatery in Manhattan) where the menu is dictated by the land. Mike Greenberg, the events planner, also oversees the restaurant’s beer offerings. We sat down with Mike to get sense of what’s typically available in late summer, and in what quantities. A conversation is all good and well but we couldn’t wait to commune with the earth and see the crops for ourselves. Mike gave us directions, drew a vague map in the air and set us loose.

We made ourselves at home and visited the animal pens, the greenhouses and the air-conditioned gift shop. We’ve got many ideas brewing (HA!) which means a lot to sort through before we settle on which ingredients and where to source them from.

Things were going really well, ideas were flowing, inspiration was running rampant. That is until we came across the chicken coup. Their inner hunter-gatherer took over and all bets were off; it was the Glassman brothers versus the chicks. Watch the video to see who won...

Stay tuned for the next step in our farming saga!

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