MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES UNVEILS MASSACHUSETTS CRAFT BREWERS PASSPORT
Massachusetts Craft Brewers Passport promotes craft brewers as well as local ingredients
BOSTON – Monday, March 10, 2014 - The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) today unveiled the Massachusetts Craft Brewers Passport to support local brewers. The passport, developed in partnership with the Massachusetts Brewers Guild (MBG) promotes more than 60 craft breweries across the state and the local ingredients they use.
“Massachusetts has some of the best craft breweries in the country, with brewers who take pride in the quality ingredients found in the Commonwealth,” said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson. “Developing new customers for our growers and building consumer awareness of our breweries is critical for the success of these ventures and the Buy Local movement.”
The Massachusetts Craft Brewers Passport features a map of the Commonwealth, with the locations of local breweries split into five regions. Breweries that use Massachusetts-grown ingredients are indicated with a small tractor icon. At each brewery, visitors can get their passport stamped and when a region in completed, they can receive a free T-shirt. Downloadable passports and information for both brewers and growers is available at www.mass.gov/massgrown and http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/culinary_tourism/brewery_tours.htm.
“Identifying new markets for our growers is always a priority, and we are pleased to support this farm to glass project for Massachusetts farmers and craft breweries in the Commonwealth,” said Jay Healy, State Director of Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
"The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is extremely excited to be partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and USDA Rural Development to create the ‘Massachusetts Beer Trail,’” said MBG President Rob Martin. “The beer trail is an outstanding opportunity for brewers to connect with their local consumer and vice-versa. With such vibrant brewing and farming communities in Massachusetts it seemed only natural to promote these two time-honored professions through this program."
Many of these breweries feature locally-grown ingredients from Massachusetts, such as locally-grown and malted grains, fresh hops and indigenous yeast strains. Valley Malt, the region's first micro-maltster in Hadley, works with local farmers who supply organic grains. Hops grown at Four Star Farm in Northfield and Clover Hill Farm in Hardwick are also used in many local brews. Breweries also use Massachusetts apples, herbs, honey, maple syrup, cranberries, peaches, oysters, pumpkins and blueberries.
DAR’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions – Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health and Crop and Pest Services – DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s agricultural community in order to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture’s role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR’s website at www.mass.gov/agr and follow us on twitter at @MDARCommish and @massgrown.
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