Locavore a Slow Cerveza

brewing up some beer at home

We’re in the process of discovering ingredient sources from within 100 miles or so of the central Central Coast for making a local beer. Whenever I wonder whether we can actually tackle some intermediate-complex kitchen task like making fresh pasta or brewing beer, I just remind myself that if little old Italian ladies can do it, we can too. Currently, we’re following leads for wheat and yeast sources and I think we might try to grow our own hops this year for a ready local hop supply. Hops are very cool looking plants.

hops ready for harvest

What good fortune that a friend  has invested about $500 in home brewing equipment and has begun to evolve into a bit of a mad brewer. Beer-making supplies loiter on the edges of the kitchen because they’re frequently employed by a growing crowd of friends who come over to use this equipment and brew their own special recipe of ales, ciders, stouts, and lagers. What’s cool is that every batch provides more chances to learn, refine, and experiment which leads (usually) to better tasting beer. And, because these friends share the use of the mad brewer’s equipment and recycle bottles, this home brewing exercise serves as a pretty sustainable, local model of beer production and consumption.

A prospective recipe for our cerveza locavore:

Homebrew Belgian Witbier

key ingredients

hops photo: Bret Lyman

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