Four Star Farms

More than 150 Brewers Came Together For Learning, Networking and The Love of Good Beer.

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Knowledge sharing is what makes the craft beer industry special and sets us a part from other industries. It’s amazing to see colleagues and friends jumping in to help a fellow brewer in need – lending cans, ingredients and advice. 

Despite our numbers -- now 188 breweries across the Commonwealth – our industry is still young. We are still converting and educating macro beer drinkers, and working to keep consumers drinking and loving craft beer.

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Continuing our education, sharing what we know, and attending events like MBG Con ensures that MA Beer will always have the highest quality standards possible..  

The MBG’s second annual conference drew 150 attendees to Jack's Abby Craft Lagers and helped to raise $10,000 for our association. These are crucial funds to aid our organization’s work -- to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers. 

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Our voice carries the most weight on Beacon Hill when we are unified. When we are all working together for a common goal. We are currently working to combat decades old franchise laws, to achieve selling rights at farmers’ markets, to expand brew pub rights for self-distribution, and are working to keep our seasonal beer gardens. 

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A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the event's success by speaking, sending your colleagues and staff to learn, and/or financially supporting the event. It’s a real team effort to pull together an afternoon of learning and knowledge sharing.

We raise a glass to the Hendler brothers and the entire staff at Jack's Abby Craft Lagers for hosting, to our MBG Con Committee – Jeremy Cross, from Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, Maureen Fabry, from CraftRoots Brewing Co., Chris Sellers from The People’s Pint and Kelsey Roth from Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Co., as well as event support from Christine Healy at Craft'd Events, Ryan Daigle from Wachusett Brewing Co., and Adam Romanow from Castle Island Brewing Co. 
 
And last and certainly not least thank you to leading sponsor Bernstein Shur,and supporting sponsors, ABS Commercial, Acadia InsuranceAmorettiBeerFests.com, Bowditch & Dewey, BrewWizzClick InsuranceCraft'd CompanyDWS Printing AssociatesEastern Standard ProvisionsFat Basset DesignFour Star FarmsHub International InsuranceInTouch LabelsMassPayMicromatic, One Off Apparel, Patriot EnergyRochester Midland Corp. and Theilmann. 

These folks not only helped to make this event affordable for attendees but they are also members of the MBG. They care deeply about the craft beer industry, so please return the favor by checking out their services to see if they are fit for your needs. 

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Our friends at MassPay generously donated their video services throughout the day to capture all of the conference sessions. Those who purchased tickets to the event will have access to all of the day's workshops. If you did not attend the event, you will be able to purchase access to these video sessions. 

We can only improve with your feedback. If you attended the event please share your experience by completing this brief survey. Thanks for your time! 

Until next year!

Farm to Glass - A Wet Hopped Beer Story

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By: Liz L’Etoile, Four Star Farms

As our hop plants start reaching the top of the trellis my mind turns to my favorite time of year, wet hopped beer season! And no, not because wet hops are “easier” for our farm to sell, I get that joke all the time. It’s the draw of harmonious layers of subtle, yet complex hop character that can only be found in fresh hopped brews at harvest time, shining in a world of intensely hop forward beers, if only for a brief period of time.

 

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Under the best drying conditions hops lose many of their volatile oils that contribute to flavor and aroma, so with fresh hops, you’re starting from a place of “more.”  Because the hops are still “wet” the effect is understated but ever-present; a brew that is multidimensional, with notes of grass, herbs and flowers mingling with the traditional hop characteristics you’ve grown to know and love.

Historically, wet hopped beers were only made by those breweries that were either lucky enough to be proximate to hop farms or had the resources to fly in wet hops overnight. However, as more regions of the country start growing hops, access to fresh hops is changing - opening the door for more breweries (from the smallest to the largest) to make these seasonal gems. We’ve proudly watched the number of these brews across New England grow over the last several years.

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At the farm, we’re currently accepting pre-orders for this season’s wet hops. Our harvest will run from late August to mid September and each variety will be picked, one at a time, across that window. Centennial and Magnum always vie to be the first one’s harvested, Rakau is always last (typically ready after the first week in September), while Cascade, Pépite, Mt. Rainier, Chaos and Crystal hang tight in the middle. Adventurous brewers are welcome to pick up their orders and take full advantage of the view, photo op and story only a hop farm can provide. For those that can’t make it to the farm we can ship right to your door. Wondering how to procure some for your brew? It’s as easy as calling or emailing me.

There’s a natural symbiosis between many brewers and farmers and this style of brewing showcases that relationship, highlighting the best of what the growing season has to offer, the talents of the brewer and giving a unique nod to time and place. These brews are special, they’re delicious, they’re fleeting, and I’m thankful there are more of them available locally every September.  

Liz@FourStarFarms.com    
(413) 498-2968