Over the past seven years, Creature has worked to utilize locally grown and malted grain for various small batch and limited release beers. Beginning this past summer, we further embraced this local farm collaboration, now partnering with DaySpring Farms to source their organic, locally grown wheat to brew Athena.
Athena is one of our year-round beers, and the opportunity to locally source the wheat for this beer emphasizes our commitment to the community and small farmers. This partnership with Dayspring Farms is also a part of our continuing effort to explore the historical relationship between brewers and local farmers.
If you want to learn more about this partnership, keep reading for our Q&A with our Cellar Lead and Sustainability Specialist, Jacob Yarbrough.
When and how did Creature initially connect with Dayspring Farms?
“Creature initially connected with DaySpring a bit before my time here – I know that our very first bottle release, DaySpring, was made in collaboration with them all the way back in 2014.”
How long have Creature Comforts and Dayspring Farms collaborated?
“Seven years, although the partnership we’ve established by partnering with Epiphany Malting Co. takes the relationship to another level – we’re ordering significantly more wheat from them than previously.”
Why is it important to partner with local farms, such as Dayspring?
“People sometimes think sustainability means only environmental sustainability, but it means more than that– actively choosing to work with local suppliers makes our communities stronger, as more of our dollars stay in our local economy when we partner locally. We’re also able to help people like the farmers with DaySpring pursue their own passions by acting as a customer for their products.”
What does this mean for Athena, one of our year-round beers, that we are now using locally grown and sourced wheat?
“It’s remarkable! To my knowledge, we’re the only brewery in the country that has chosen to change from standard Canadian wheat to a locally grown grain in an existing, core brand like Athena. The challenge of flavor-matching and establishing a new supply chain is immense. Our customers already have an expectation for what Athena should taste like, and we would not have moved forward with this project if we were unable to duplicate that flavor and experience perfectly.”
On average, how much wheat will DaySpring be providing Creature in year 1?
“The newly developed recipe calls for 755 pounds of DaySpring wheat out of 2,600 pounds total – that’s about 30% of the overall recipe. In order to fulfill our plans for Athena production over the next year, we needed a total of 60,000 pounds from the 2020-21 crop.”