More farm-to-glass classes offered in Rensselaerville

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Carey Institute for Global Good here wants to close the gap between agricultural supplies and demand from brewers in the midst of the state’s craft brew renaissance.

New York now has about 170 small breweries, more than five times as many as a decade ago, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension.

To that end, on Saturday, Feb. 22, the institute will host a Farm-To-Glass Classroom Business Planning and Design Workshop for farmers, micro-maltsters, and craft beverage producers interested in starting or expanding their farm-to-glass enterprise.

Stakeholders from all stages of the supply chain will hear from specialists in the field, and examine a farm-to-glass case study through the experiences of Farmhouse Malt, and the farmers and brewers with whom it works.

Topics to be covered by a panel of experts include: business planning; funding opportunities; marketing and communications; scaling start-up ventures and risk management; malt grain growing and harvesting; post-harvest and processing considerations; micro-malt setup and operations; craft beverage producer demands; supply-chain planning; and, farmers’, maltsters, and craft beverage producers’ experiences in the industry.

Speakers will include Samuel Filler, fellow at Empire State Development; Tom Osadchey, a business planning consultant from NY Farm Net; Robert Perry, a grain farmer and the grain coordinator for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York; Marty and Natalie Mattrazzo, owners and maltsters at Farmhouse Malt; Kenneth Wortz, distiller at Ky-Mar Farms; and Evan and Emily Watson, brewers at Plan Bee Farm Brewery.

“Our last workshop had upwards of 50 attendees, and I would like to see it grow even more from there,” said Sarah Avery Gordon, Farm-To-Glass development specialist.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and includes networking sessions for farmers and brewers during a break.  The fee for the event is $20 at the door; those interested in attending should call 797-5100 to reserve a space.

Brewshed ahead

Starting in 2014, the Carey Institute will be resurrecting a Dutch barn, originally built about 1760, on its campus to house the state’s first farm brewery incubator. The Carey Institute has partnered with CSArch, an Albany-based architecture firm, to adapt the barn to function as a new economic and social hub that connects farmers, brewers, and craft beverage enthusiasts

In January, Empire State Development announced the award of $108,000 to the project, dubbed the Helderberg Brewshed; an ongoing fund-raising campaign is underway to secure the rest of the project budget.

The barn will house three key programs, including a Model Farm Brewery, A Farm-To-Glass Classroom, and a Farm Brewery Incubator. Upcoming Farm-To-Classroom events will be posted online.

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