It’s been a wild ride lately, hasn’t it? We sincerely hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy, but thought that it would be a (hopefully) welcome change of pace to get some brewery updates from us.
First on the docket, for those of you who have missed it, we finally received our building permit to renovate our barn! We can’t believe it has already been more than a year since we moved onto our farm just south of Scotland and we are so eager to get our beer-keg of a barn producing some beer! We still have a long way to go before we get there, but it is a work in progress!
We were very disappointed to hear that Eat & Drink Norfolk was not going happen as planned. We were so excited to finally get to interact with all of you face to face. But we completely understand the need to flatten the curve and keep our distance for the time being. The upside here is that so far it looks like it will be rescheduled! We will share any information on new dates as we get updates.
We had also made some new beers for the occasion. The first you might have seen sneak peaks of, and those of you luck enough, may have even tried the trial batch. The Cherry Saison we made based on our Saison de la Meuse, but fermented on a lot of Norfolk grown sour cherries (so many in fact it made our fermenter overflow!).
The second new release was set to be the Meuse Extra. Also, loosely based on our saison, we wanted to showcase some locally grown hops in a session IPA. Mischa had previously worked with Hayhoe Hops while he was still with New Limburg. At the time brewed a Belgian IPA for the Ontario Hopped Craft Beer Competition which took home first place! With the hop plants maturing we really want to try out these hops again; boy did they smell amazing!
Unfortunately, we do not see a way to responsibly release these batches at this point in time, but that only mean we will brew these beers again and make sure they are even better than before! Until then, you can get your hands on some of our Saison de la Meuse with take-out orders of food from some of our partners who carry our bottled product.
The last bit of news that we have is a bit of a departure from beer, but it all ties together in the end, so bear with me! With our farm situated on Windham road 3 with frontage also on highway 24, the corner lot had previously been severed off from the farm. Some know it as the second location of Wholesome Pickings Farm Market, others may remember it as House’s Farm Market. Well, we can finally and proudly share the news that we have been privileged enough to take over that market!
Our aim is to continue the market, with an emphasis on locally grown produce, vegetable plants, herbs, and patio plants. As bountiful as Norfolk County and its surrounding area is there are some things, like citrus fruits, that are not grown locally. We do hope to source these responsibly as well to provide visitors with a one stop shop. We still hope to open the market in May, but have to work out the details of how this will work in practice. Our top priority is the health and safety of our community.
As our brewery developments move along, the plan is to have this market be our outlet for our beer as well. In this way we can provide full circle products. For example, we will offer locally grown cherries, locally baked cherry pie, and our own cherry beer made with local cherries. This is dreaming into the future a little bit, but we hope that you stay along for the ride with us. These are certainly some unprecedented and serious times, but we hope to stay positive and look forward to a brighter future. This business is our dream and we want to build it up as positively and authentically as we know how. Stay happy and stay healthy, and we look forward to seeing you all soon!
Estelle van Kleef & Mischa Geven
The Meuse Brewing Team