Sep

13

“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.” – Alfred Austin 

Nothing beats the satisfaction of making something from start to finish (except for maybe sex, a thick-cut steak, and dick jokes). Now imagine growing something, then making something from start to finish. Even the perfectly drawn penis on an important memo can’t top that.

Over the past year, we’ve been amazed at what we can grow here on the brewery grounds alone, from the hop trellis on our patio to an established hop yard in the grass along our parking lot. We also cut old oak barrels in half and converted them into planters, creating a small (yet functional and really, really good looking) employee garden. 

So what options do you average Joe’s and Jill’s have with (likely) not a lot of space and (very likely) not a lot of time?

Here in the mid-Atlantic, we have mild springs and falls with hot, humid summers. You can grow almost anything with soil, sun, and water, but here are a few plants that grow exceptionally well in this area:

  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Beans
  • Squash

Space-wise, the possibilities are endless. Instead of flower pots on your deck, try a tomato plant or two. An array of herbs is a beautiful and delicious replacement for window boxes or flower beds. 

No outdoor space at all? No problem. See if your area has a community garden association. We have the Frederick Community Garden Association in our town, among a slew of others in the surrounding areas. Most cities have them and it’s as easy as donating money for your very own plot all growing season long. 

And doesn’t your favorite craft beer pair perfectly with achy muscles, sunburn, bug bites, and dirty fingernails?

Sep

12

We’ve asked you to PARTY, EAT, and DRINK Local. Now, it’s time to SHOP. (And you thought Support Local Week was going to be hard.) 

Let’s start with a vocabulary lesson. If you’re like us, you hear terms and acronyms thrown around, but don’t know exactly what they mean. 

  • Farmer’s Market (or Green Market): Where farmers sell their products directly to consumers. Probably the most “no duh” term in the list, but here’s a great resource for you: The Fresh Food Finder. It’s an app that enables you to find markets within a city, state, or zip code.
  • Co-op: A jointly owned commercial enterprise (usually organized by farmers and consumers) that produces and distributes goods and services and is run for the benefit of its owners. The Common Market here in Frederick is a co-op and you can learn about becoming an owner there at our Local Bazaar this Saturday
  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): A system in which consumers receive food directly from the farmers who produce it. But unlike a farmer’s market system, consumers pay in advance for a portion of that farmer’s crop, thus, sharing the yield risk of each harvest. (Local Harvest can help you find the CSA nearest you.)

One of the biggest obstacles small farmers face is finding retailers who are willing to sell their products. Most mass-market retailers do not want to deal with the limited production volumes and less predictable supply of small, local farms. 

According to a study by the National Cooperative Grocers Association, conventional grocery stores source slightly less than 6% of its food from local sources. But an average co-op purchases almost 20% of its products locally. Plus, “for every $1,000 a shopper spends at their local food co-op, $1,604 dollars in economic activity is generated in their local economy — $239 more than if they had spent that same $1,000 at a conventional grocery store in the same community.” And when you shop at your local farmer’s market or join a CSA, the economic impact is immediate and 100%. 

Vocabulary and statistics aside, we understand that your budget is what matters most to you. And taking the local leap may seem like it will make that Mint account go mad. What we recommend is figuring out what items are most important to you to buy local and determine your budget from there. Our post earlier this week on eating local may help

Know more resources that help you SHOP Local? We’d love to hear them. Post your thoughts on our Facebook page or give us a shout on Twitter

Sep

11

There is art, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and creative expression in all of you, but the world wants you to fit in.

Will you stand out or fit in? 

For us, every step — large or small — in the brewing process is art. And we’ve learned that embracing the fear that comes with standing out is what being true artists is all about. 

So during our Support Local Week, and as our spotlights on local creativity come to a close, we ask you to DRINK Local.

There were 1,940 operational craft breweries in the United States in 2011 — a figure that’s only growing. Craft brewers currently provide over 100,000 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs. Craft breweries are independently-owned, innovative, and in it together. 

And we are all artists.

Go to CraftBeer.com to find the local craft brewery near you

Sep

10

Have you ever roamed the aisles of a grocery store and thought about where the food you’re buying came from? Better yet, ever wonder if it’s really worth it to eat organic, especially when you’re on a budget? 

Our goal during Support Local Week is not to pound you with statistics, force you to change your entire lifestyle, or guilt you into submission. (Although, the later is tempting.) Rather, we want to provide simple resources that will enable you to make more informed choices as consumers. 

So for Day Two, here are five of our favorite resources for EATing local and organic: 

1. The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 

The Environmental Working Group releases both The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 lists each year as shoppers’ guides to pesticides in produce. The top five of The Dirty Dozen (meaning the most important to buy organic)? Apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, and strawberries. The Clean(est) of the 15? Onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, and cabbage. Each guide is a crucial tool to help you decide the most important foods to buy organic within your budget. 

2. Seasons App 

Having watermelon in the winter may be a godsend for pregnancy cravings everywhere, but it’s not exactly how nature intended. As a society, we’ve grown so accustomed to imported fruits and vegetables being available year round that we forget about the seasonality of our favorite produce. By following the natural seasons, with the assistance of this simple phone app, you can experience a greater variety of produce at the peak of freshness (all while supporting local agriculture). 

3. Why Buy Organic Meat and Dairy 

Most of us instantly think about fruits and veggies when we think about buying local and organic. However, this top 10-style list provides some compelling reasons why buying organic meat and dairy products is not only a healthier choice, but also helps environmental issues like deforestation and air and water pollution. 

4. Seafood Watch

Most seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help boost immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and more. However, not all types of seafood are safe for regular consumption. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list highlights types of seafood that are low in environmental contaminants and good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Eat Well Guide 

Eat Well Guide is a free online directory for anyone in search of fresh, locally grown, and sustainably produced food in the United States, including family farms, restaurants, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, U-pick orchards, and more.  

Know more resources that help you EAT Local? We’d love to hear them. Post your thoughts on our Facebook page or give us a shout on Twitter

Sep

9

You heard us: Party Local. 

We’re kicking off Support Local Week by asking you to party. Our Local Bazaar, Saturday, September 15 at the brewery, is a gathering of farm-to-fork restaurants and vendors to highlight the important of supporting local and raise awareness of the creativity right in our backyard. 

Here’s who will be there: 

  • Midnite Bluegrass Boys: A four-piece bluegrass band from Myersville, Maryland
  • Tim Scofield: An aerial sculptor from Baltimore 
  • Pit Crew Skate Team: Frederick’s own skateboarding team
  • Charm City Roller Girls: Baltimore’s badass roller derby team
  • Art and Soul: A DC foodie destination that’s farm-to-fork with Southern flair 
  • Rappahannock River Oysters: A family-owned oyster company off of the Cheasapeake Bay 
  • Chef Driven DC: Local fare from one of DC’s top trucks
  • Cafe Nola: A Frederick cafe designed and built by local artists
  • The Perfect Truffle: World-class truffles from Frederick’s Master Chocolatier Randy Olmstead 
  • Palmyra Creamery: Farmstead artisan cheese from award-winning Ayrshire cows in Hagerstown, Maryland
  • Hedgeapple Farm: Grass-fed beef from a farm less than two miles away from the brewery
  • Dublin Roasters: Producer of hand-roasted and organic coffee in Frederick
  • Maryland Hop Growers Association: A collective of Maryland hop farmers
  • Frederick Community Garden Association: A community garden in downtown Frederick 
  • Herbalist Susan Hirsch: A medical practitioner who incorporates herbs into health plans
  • Massage therapist Melane Douez: A Maryland registered massage practitioner 
The Local Bazaar is free and open to the public (21+). Admission will be capped at 500, so we recommend getting here early. 

Sep

5

Over the past 6 weeks, we’ve released a series of “Support Local” videos showcasing the creativity, rebelliousness, beauty, and incredible talent in our backyard. 

Now, it’s your turn to join in and Support Local. 

From Sunday, September 9 to Saturday, September 15, we want you to eat, drink, and shop local for the entire week.

And we’re going to help. Each day will have a different local theme (from eating local to growing it on your own) and we’ll provide resources, research, and advice to make it easy and accessible. Look for that information and more each day of Local Week on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter

Then, Support Local Week will culminate at our Local Bazaar at the brewery on Saturday, September 15. We partnered with The Common Market on a gathering of farm-to-fork restaurants, local artisans, and live music to celebrate the release of Secret Stash — our Harvest Ale made with locally-sourced ingredients. Admission is free and open to the public (21+). Only the first 500 people will be admitted, so get here early. 

Have ideas you want to share on how you Support Local? We’d love to hear them.  

Aug

31

The defining moment for master chocolatier Randy Olmstead is when a customer takes the first bite. “They have now taken themselves back to a memory of a time, a place, a flavor.”

Our latest Support Local video provides a glimpse into truffles that transport people outside of their existence — if only for a moment — when they take that first bite.

Want to try Olmstead’s creations? Come to our Local Bazaar Saturday, September 15 at the brewery. Because there’s no better way to support local than with local artisans, live music, and craft beer. 

Aug

30

From the basic to the decadent, farm-to-fork to food trucks, the fare at our Local Bazaar Saturday, September 15 showcases an incredible range of local providers, including: 

  • Art and Soul: Farm-to-fork with Southern flair — a drool-worthy DC foodie staple.
  • Chef Driven DC: A food truck for those with “champagne taste on a sarsaparilla budget.” 
  • Rappahannock River Oysters: When we’re not brewing with their oysters, we’re eating them (while drinking our Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout, of course).
  • The Perfect Truffle: Pairing beer with chocolate, especially these incredible truffles, is pairing wine with chocolate’s cooler, funnier, and much better looking older brother.
  • Palmyra Creamery: Farmstead artisan cheeses with options like Blueberry Cheddar and Garlic Colby.
  • Hedgeapple Farm: A grass-fed beef farm just two miles from our brewery. They’re bringing jerky. Lots of jerky.
  • Dublin Roasters: Producer of hand-roasted organic and specialty coffee right here in Frederick.

From noon to 5 pm, we’re turning our brewery grounds into an open-air market of food, local artisans, live music, and artist demonstrations to celebrate the release of our Secret Stash Harvest Ale. Helping us out is The Common Market, an organic grocery store that’s Frederick’s only natural food co-op. Admission is free, but limited to 500 people, so get here early. 

Aug

28

In a final more tense than the women’s fencing individual sabre face off for Gold between Korea’s Kim Ji Yeon and Russia’s Sophia Velikaia in this year’s Olympiad, Flying Dog Brewery emerged victorious over BrewDog in the UK International Arms Race. 

Our Brewmaster Matt Brophy posted the above photo on Facebook moments after winning the International Arms Race. The classic Red, White, Blue, and Camo combination really brings out his golden complexion. 

International Arms Race – a Zero IBU IPA – was put to the test on a five-day tour of BrewDog pubs in Scotland (Aberdeen and Glasgow) and England (Newcastle, Manchester, and Camden). 

Also put to the test? Our Brewmaster Matt Brophy and VP of Marketing Ben Savage’s livers, ability to cope with men in skirts, inability to use their personal hairdryers, and forced adaptability to the fact that everything is on the wrong side. 

In this epic combative collaboration, hops were banned from the battlefield. Instead varying amounts of spearmint, bay leaves, rosemary, juniper berries, and elderflower were used to impart bitterness. It was also decided that each brewer would brew their own version of the beer to highlight the individual brewer’s craft…and avoid as little skin-to-skin contact with other people as possible. 

At each event, customers were encouraged to purchase a flight of both Zero IBU IPAs and blindly vote on their favorite. Savage also distributed Flying Dog-branded sunglasses to the crowd, a generous and fitting gift for the three sunny days the UK has each year. 

Then, at the end of each night, votes for each version of the beer were tallied. BrewDog won in Aberdeen and Glasgow – obviously a conspiracy by the ghost of William Wallace. But Englanders clearly had better taste, opting for the Flying Dog beer in both Newcastle and Manchester. 

Going into the final event in Camden, the stakes were high and tied. Many beers were drunk and until the votes were counted, no one could tell who would reign supreme. But then, the unborn child of Prince William and Princess Kristal announced that Flying Dog was the winner of the International Arms Race in the United Kingdom. 

The room fell silent as Brophy (draped in a banner of spangled stars) climbed onto the bar (an eloquent move he perfected as a young man in New Jersey) to address the crowd:

“I believe it was actually King George III who said ‘truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to life.’” [Insert dramatic pause.] “Wait, no it wasn’t. Silly me. It was George Washington that said that.”

From there, Brophy gave a well-deserved thanks to the fine ladies and gents of BrewDog, who “truly did a bloody smashing job of hosting us damn Yankees, setting us up with a guide who has neither a driver’s license nor the ability to drive, and breaking down the nuances of the British dental care system.” 

And now? It’s not called International Arms Race for nothing. Brophy, along with Vice President Joe Biden, will return the favor and host BrewDog leader James Watt on a U.S. tour in late September.

As for Savage? He is not allowed to leave the country. Although their Audi rental was “backassward,” his driving habits live up to his name. He is awaiting sentencing from the Queen Mother herself on the 102 speeding tickets he obtained during the five-day trip, during which “they made great time.”

Aug

23

Meet Tim, Malcolm, and “one of the most unusual group of people ever.”

Tim and Malcolm own PITCREW, one of the most renowned skate shops in the country, here in our backyard of Frederick, Maryland.

In our most recent Support Local video spot, they explain what motivated them to open the shop and elevate Maryland’s skate scene.

For more on our Support Local initiative, come to our Local Bazaar at the brewery on Saturday, September 15. And like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more information on how you can Support Local. 

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