Farm to Brewery: Literally.

qiuxiaHeadshot“Farm to table” to most of us means the relationship between farmers and food we consume at home or in restaurants. People want to know where their food comes from and the faces behind their food. They want it to be local and personal. For those of us working in breweries, “farm to table” has a new meaning. It means, “farms to bottles”, “farm to pints”, “farm to brewery”. In fact that relationship has been cultivated for centuries. In Europe, farmhouse breweries have deep roots in Belgium and France. Farmers use whatever grains and ingredients they have on hand to make beer. “Eating Local” is gaining in popularity in this age of processed everything, but back in the day it was the only way. Most of the beer they made was consumed within the household and shared with family and friends in the village. During harvest time, they would make large batches of beer using grains, including malts and wheat, spices like coriander, along with yeast and water that were all sourced from the farms.   The migrant farm workers were the beneficiaries of the beer which was simply called ”farmhouse” beer.  Today, this special style of beer is popular. The guideline is wide and flavors and ingredients are diverse.

True farmhouse breweries are becoming increasingly rare. Most breweries have moved on to using modern equipment and commercially sourced ingredients to meet their demands. But the relationship between farm and brewery is extremely close. At Boom Island Brewing we cultivate that relationship with Chad Douglass and his family at Douglass Farm in Mora, MN.

cropped-suzie

For the past two years, Chad has picked up all of our spent grain to provide a nutrient rich food source for his animals.  The grain is saved from the landfills on our end, and Chad says his animal’s ears perk up when they hear the truck pull in with the grain.  The cows run beside his truck to get into the proper position for feeding time. Happy cows, happy everyone!

Chad and his wife Brenda and son Cooper have worked their 80-acre farm for two years.  They grow and bail their own hay, as well as some neighboring farms and end up bailing 250 acres each year.  A friend told him about the benefits of using spent grain, so he decided it was worth the hour trip from Mora.  The grain is high in protein, contains good starch and helps the cows maintain a grass-fed diet. In the heat of the summer some of the grain is used as compost for their garden.  They have a list of animals to feed, including Belted Galloway cows, dogs and exotic short hair cats, Brahma chickens, Serama chickens, ducks and geese. We look forward to Chad’s weekly visits. Many times he comes with chicken eggs, rabbit and beef fresh from the farm and we bond our friendship with a couple of pints.

Farm-to-brewery-to-farm-to-table. This is truly local, environmental and sustainable.

Every spring, we release our version of Farmhouse ale, called Saison (meaning “Season” in French). Each year our Saison would be unique, incorporating orange peel, barley, oats, wheat and perhaps a touch of rye. However, just calling it “Farmhouse” isn’t enough this year:  we are bringing the farm to our north Minneapolis brewery. Boom Island parking lot will host baby Rex rabbits, miniature Serama chickens, a Galloway calf or two and some new hatchling baby ducks.  Maybe even a pony or two, and possibly a goat.  Chad Douglass will be on hand to answer questions and sell a few of his wares. Dog treats using spent grain will be made available for dog owners and their pets.

Come during the day to pet the animals and stay for live Jazz at 7pm. The MN Hard Bop Collective will be playing music of Bobby Watson.

Saison5x7
Saison,  Farmhouse Ale

Saison – 6% ABV

Appearance – Light copper in color with a fluffy white head

Aroma – Soft and subtle citrus.

Flavor – Smooth mouth feel, light spice bitterness with its trademark dry and delicate finish.

Eat local, drink local!

Cheers!

 

Congratulations on the MRAC Grant!

 

From-JimMNHBC

MN Hard Bop Collective (MNHBC) drummer extraordinaire and friend Jesse Simon applied for and received a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.  This is great news for fans of local jazz.  The grant, which will last from now until early summer, will add focus to our Boom Room Jazz initiative.  Starting February 10, we will be hosting live jazz every other week, with the MNHBC playing each gig.

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The grant will not only help finance the series, but will also allow Jesse to focus each program on education of the hard bop style, and challenge his players and the audience with music rarely heard on the scene.  Are you familiar with the likes of jazz greats Hank Mobley and Elmo Hope?  I hadn’t either, until we started Boom Room Jazz.  And I’ve been listening to jazz for a long time.

My dad introduced me to Jazz when I was 13.  He played Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5” to me and I had to admit that he was right, that tune is amazing.  From that point on I’ve been buying jazz records.  I had great mentors to help along the way. That said, 2017 was the year that put my appreciation of Jazz into overdrive. My knowledge and appreciation, as well as my collection, has easily doubled from what I have learned from Boom Room Jazz.

For those who haven’t had guidance like I received, the genre of Jazz can be daunting.  It’s huge, ranging from 1930’s big band music, to 60’s heroin-fueled mind trips, and everything in between.  All I can say to anyone who was hasn’t been properly introduced to jazz, stop by on a Boom Room Jazz Saturday at 7pm and give it a shot.  Live jazz is amazing and the music of the MNHBC will always swing with sophistication. The vibe in the room is electric.  The music being played is rarely, if ever, heard in this town.  To top it all off, the beers you will be drinking will always be complex and delicious as well.  Write down the following dates:

700 Jazz (2)

Saturday, February 10 – “Soul Station” Quartet, The music of Hank Mobley part 3

Dave Hagedorn on Vibraphone, Aaron Hedenstrom sax, Ted Olsen bass

Saturday, February 24 – Elmo’s World! A return to the music of Elmo Hope

Jake Baldwin Trumpet, Clay Puhfal sax, Jeff Rinear trombone, Javier Santiago piano, Ted Olsen bass

Saturday, March 10 – Modern Hard Bop, NYC Hard Bop from the 1980s to the present

Pete Whitman Sax, Jeff Rinear trombone, Ted Godbout piano, Graydon Peterson bass

Saturday, March 24 – TBD

More great music to come!

 

Boom Room Jazz Goes Monthly in the Fall/Winter

700 Jazz (2)

Hopefully you all have had a chance to stop by on a Saturday night this summer for Boom Room Jazz. We couldn’t be happier for the opportunity to host jazz of such high quality. Boom Room Jazz will continue on Saturday night August 27 at 7pm. Please note that starting in September, we will go back to once per month schedule. Starting Saturday September 3, we will be hosting Brad Bellows and Friends on the first Saturday of each month at 7pm. There is never a cover charge for Boom Room Jazz. Here are the Fall/Winter dates:

Boom Room Jazz:

Saturday August 27 @ 7pm

Fall Schedule:

Saturday September 3 @ 7pm

Saturday October1 @ 7pm

Saturday November 5 @ 7pm

Saturday December 3 @ 7pm

Saturday December 17 @ 7pm – Special Holiday Program

Valve T

Please make a point to stop by and revel in the jazz by Brad Bellows and Friends! These Cats can wail. Enjoy one of our Taproom Exclusive beers while you are at it. Jazz and fresh Belgian-style beers? Yes please.

Boom Days: Meet the Bands (2)

Valve T

Our Own Boom Room Jazz Band

Performing: Friday, July 15th at 8pm

Brad Bellows is a valve-trombonist that has lived and performed at jazz clubs,
coffee houses, restaurants and music halls in the Twin Cities for 35 years. This includes years playing with saxophone greats Eddie Berger, John Devine and Donald Washington, trombonist Dave Graf and guitarist Dean Granros -with whom Brad recorded the duo CD (Bear’s Delight) in 2000.  Educated at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Brad has performed all genres of improvised music but is currently playing small group jazz with saxophonist Larry Hillman and rhythm sections featuring great musicians including guitarists Reuben Ristrom and Zacc Harris, vibraphonist Steve Kimmel, bassists Tom Lewis, Jim Chenoweth and Bruce "Pooch" Heine, and drummers Mac Santiago, Jesse Simon and Kenny  Horst.

Brad Bellow and Friends will be headlining the opening night of Boom Days on Friday July 15th at 8pm on the outdoor stage.

Boom Room Jazz Expanded to Every Summer Saturday

 

700 Jazz (2)

From-Jim

You ask and we will deliver! Due to the rousing success of our Boom Room Jazz events the past few months, we have expanded our Boom Room Jazz nights to every Saturday at 7pm throughout the summer starting May 28.  Brad Bellows and his “Cats” will return weekly, affixing the Boom Island Brewing Company taproom to an all-too-short list of go-to destinations for high quality live jazz in the Twin cities.

If you haven’t heard Brad Bellows and his group play, picture swinging late 1960’s Prestige label era classic jazz. They have decades of experience in the local and national jazz scene, and it shows. This is not fluffy, hotel lobby jazz.  As always, there is no cover and music will begin promptly at 7pm.  The taproom will stay open until 10pm during Boom Room Jazz events.

To use the jazz vernacular, come to our crib every Saturday to wig out to our wailing cats of cool. Now you’re on the trolley.

Musicians for Saturday,  May 28

Brad Belows – Valve Trombone
Larry Hillman – Tenor Sax
Steve Kimmel – Vibraphone
Tom Lewis – Bass
Peter Hennig – Drums