Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 10.06.30 AMFrom the NPR story on how the craft brew movement is boosting local farms:

Brent Manning is a maltster on a mission. The co-founder of Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, N.C., wants people to be able to taste local grains in North Carolina’s beers, just as vino aficionados can identify the provenance of fine wines.

“In the wine industry … they will tell you that the No. 1 Syrah grape grows on this hillside over here because it’s a bit rockier,” Manning explains. “It’s that very same connection to the soil and the underlying geology that creates these nuances in flavors.”

And a critical element in creating beer with truly local flavor, Manning contends, is malt made from local grains.

Asheville’s beer lovers are “farm-to-table, local, local, local-focused,” Manning says. But when he and business partner Brian Simpson opened Riverbend in 2010, “it was almost comical that with so much of this local beer, the only thing local [in the beer] was the water.”

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