Colorado Breweries Grow Their Own Grain, Brew It Into Beer

by Madison Miller

Colorado certainly has no shortage of breweries, stockpiled with exceptionally creative and smooth brews. The state is home to more than 400 officially established breweries. They’ve certainly learned to perfect the art of making a craft beer.

In fact, several breweries in the state are actually involved in every single part of the beer-making process. That means getting in on the agricultural side of things to grow barley to brew the beer with. A few of these breweries have their own farms to make a grain-to-glass market.

According to Axios, there are currently three different breweries leading this new movement. That includes Square Peg Brewerks in Alamosa and Creede, Chrysalis in Paonia, and Colorado Farm Brewery in Alamosa.

Growing Barley to Brewing Beer

Amongst thousands and thousands of exotic and unique craft beer companies pulling out all the stops, this move certainly helps these companies stand out for the better.

“It’s reassuring to [customers] that they know exactly where that malt came from. It makes it just a little bit more local,” Derek Heersink, Square Peg’s co-owner, said regarding this business decision. It’s an added bonus to get to be a part of each stage of the beer-making process. While many breweries switch up the brewing process in unique ways, this is just a more authentic process.

Not to mention, this may just be the perfect year for being able to grow your own grain. There have been certain challenges this year that led to the lowest barley production in a century. Due to the effects of climate change, namely extreme dryness and heat, barley was much harder to make this year.

These breweries making their own barley may signify a new trend of growing as much product as possible.

Issues with Making Beer Right Now

Now, on top of that, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine may make things more difficult for breweries as well. Both Russia and Ukraine make up a third of the world’s overall wheat and barley exports. Due to the ongoing war, certain supplies will be threatened for countries that drastically depend on these materials.

This is contributing to a global food shortage.

Also, breweries are dealing with a can shortage. According to the Denver Post, Ball Corp. raised its threshold for minimum orders, which left many smaller brewers scrambling for a new solution.

Ball Corp. is a giant beverage-can manufacturer. During the ongoing pandemic, Ball has seen an increase in demand for its product. Due to supply chain problems and inflation, the cost of materials has also gone up. Aluminum prices are up 24%, for example.

Some small breweries, which there are thousands of, are left wondering how they will get their unique brews onto shelves and into customers’ fridges.