In July 2013, GrowNYC and Brooklyn Brewery collaborated to produce Greenmarket Wheat, a summer wheat beer using ingredients produced by regional farmers: raw wheat from North Country Farm in Watertown, NY, Pilsner Barley Malt from Valley Malt in Hadley, MA, and Wildflower Honey from Tremblay Apiaries, Chemung County, NY. Our innovative partnership is a direct result of Governor Cuomo’s 2012 Farm Brewery License legislation aimed at expanding the growth of craft breweries and increasing demand for locally grown products to brew beer statewide.
Once considered the nation’s breadbasket, New York State watched as the fields, processing infrastructure, and jobs that were supported by this sector of the local economy moved to the Midwest. Brooklyn Brewery’s landmark facility brought the long lost pride of brewing back to the borough that had been home to as many as 45 breweries at the turn of the century.
Greenmarket Wheat reminds us that beer is agriculture. Multiple small businesses are supported by this one bottle: farms, an apiary, a malting facility, and a brewery among them, proving once again that a regional food economy can be an economic driver for New York State.