Grains News & Events



From the latest newsletter:

July, 2019 - Spotlight: Strong Rope Brewery

In honor of NYC Brewer's Choice this month, we sat down with Jason Sahler, owner and head brewer of Strong Rope Brewery in Gowanus to talk beer, local grains, and what it's like to be a brewery that is the first of it's kind.

Jason Sahler began as a home brewer, using commodity malts. In 2013, he decided he wanted to be more in tune with the development of local grains and the burgeoning Craft Beverage industry in New York State. Although Strong Rope predominantly works with two row barley, they also use wheat, oats, and rye as flavor additives, making some of the most interesting and flavorful beer in NYC. Jason is proud to "use 100% New York ingredients for all of our beers."

The beginning was all trial and error, Jason says: "The farmers were growing barley varietals that were best suited for animal feed not necessarily for malting. It was all a new thing… the quality was a little all over the place. Sometimes good sometimes troublesome.” In the last few years a lot of that uncertainty has evened out. Mark Sorrells and his team at Cornell University have worked diligently with farmers to identify good malting barley varieties that can grow well in New York. Strong Rope's success is also due in large part to the conversations that Jason has with the maltsters he works with. Sahler will communicate which malts are performing well, and the maltsters will zero in on that variety with the farmers, creating a closed loop system that allows the growers and maltsters to produce malted grain that will perform at peak capacity for the brewer.

Of course, being the first brewery of its kind means that Strong Rope had to be adaptive, but also that they can now be a resource for newer breweries using local grain and malt. Sahler advises those brewers to "be willing to experiment. It’s going to be different. It might not be the same thing you’re used to. Take the time and effort to figure it out. We’re small enough that we’re willing to be experimental. Talk to your malt houses and talk to your grain farmers. Get out there and be a part of the industry.”

Catch Strong Rope Brewery in Williamsburg at the Brewer's Choice event July 17, and occasionally at our Beer and Spirits Pop-up!

Read the rest of this newsletter here.

Newsletter Archive


Kneading Conference

July 25-26

Skowhegan, Maine

Each year farmers, millers, bakers, maltsters, researchers, and grain enthusiasts gather from around the world for two days of intensive baking workshops, wood-fired oven building workshops, and discussions about grain growing and running grain businesses. Attendees choose from hands-on workshops, live demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions, and more.

Get your tickets here

NYC Brewer's Choice

July 17

Biba of Williamsburg

In partnership with Slow Grains (a project of Slow Food NYC), the 9th annual NYC Brewer's Choice will show everything our beloved regional grains have to offer!

Come learn from the pioneering folks working on the Northeast local grain movement – we’ll share what we’ve learned, discuss grains varieties growing in our region, their important role in the building of a sustainable food system, and the infrastructure and distribution challenges involved in these efforts.

The Slow Grains panel discussion will precede the awesome Brewer's Choice event, where 20 small batch brewers from North Carolina to New York to Maine will gather to celebrate local grains and malts.

This is an all-inclusive event with beer tastings and food.

Get your tickets here

The Grainstand

Our retail booth for local grains, flours and beans

Union Square Greenmarket, Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Check here for the weekly pop-up schedule and here for our rotating craft beverage guests!


Articles that both inform and shed light on our work.

July 2019
Culinary Epicenter: Bread & Beer: Women Leaders in the Slow Grains Movement

March 2019
Edible Manhattan: The Standard East Village is Making Some of the Very Best Bread in New York

December 2018
Edible Manhattan: The Regional Grains Taking New York's Best Bread to the Next Level

April 2018
The New Food Economy: Rural Kansas is Dying, I Drove 1,800 Miles to Find Out Why

 December 2017
Bloomberg Pursuits: Bread is the Dish of the Year

December 2017
Civil Eats: Grain Mills Can Be Cornerstones of Local Food Economies

November 2017
Grace Links: Local Grains and the Locavore's Changing Landscape

November 2017
Edible BrooklynWhat to Make With New York's Regional Grains

Press Archive



The Story Behind Breuckelen Distilling's NY-Grown Single Malt Whiskey

Learn how one farmer's "bad crop" became a distiller's dream ingredient, thanks to masterminds Brad Estabrooke of Breuckelen Distilling, grain farmer Thor Oechsner, and maltsters Andrea and Christian Stanley of Valley Malt.

Each Saturday, the Bronx Night Market brings a global food celebration to Fordham Plaza, and we're joining the party! 

  • Greenmarket

    Our network of farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Recycle

    We blanket the five boroughs with resources like textile and food scrap collection, Stop 'N' Swaps, and free training to make waste reduction easy for all.

  • Garden

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.