Just as more and more people increasingly want to know where their food comes from, we believe that people will also want to know where their beer comes from. Similarly, just as more folks are increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint and the costs associated with transporting their food across the country, we believe folks will soon start thinking the same way about their beer.
To that end, our vision is to create beer that is sourced 100% from local ingredients and enjoyed in the local New England area. Certainly, there are challenges with this vision. After all, the emerging micro-maltsters don’t have the same economies of scale that the bigger mid-western and Canadian maltsters do. In addition, the New England climate is amenable to producing only certain types of hops and fruits, which might mean some limitation in variety.
While some might see these challenges as overwhelming, we don’t. Our team is inherently optimistic. Instead of challenges we see great opportunity. Winemakers, both in our region as well as across the world, have typically worked to find vines that thrive in their local habitat. This gives the wine grown in each region its own unique characteristics and flavor simply as a result of its geography, regional vines, soil, and weather conditions. The term for this is Terroir which is roughly translated as “a sense of place”. In other words, regional wines embody local characteristics which make them unique from the rest of the world.
We think the notion of terroir is, for lack of a better term, simply awesome. We strive to create our own beer-oir, resulting in a New England regional style that promises to be quite delicious and interesting. We are working with local farmers and local maltsters (such as Valley Malt in Hadley, MA) to make our vision a reality. In addition, through programs such as the Northeast Hop Alliance, as well as our own small hop yard, the reality of using 100% locally-sourced hops isn’t too far away.
With our move to Hobbs Farm and the opening of our restaurant in July of 2015, we’ve expanded our vision to encompass our food as well. We are aiming for a full circle of sustainability here at our farm. For example, the grain used to make the beer you drink here is then fed to our pigs who then eventually (and lovingly) make their way back onto your plates. It’s true farm to table. It’s the ultimate in freshness and flavor. It’s sustainability at its best.
We hope that fans of Throwback will not only love us for our great beers and food, but also for our vision!