"I don't drink craft beer,"

he replied with slight apprehension.

I had just pitched my new malt house business plan to a seasoned farmer whose family has worked Rowan County land for generations. I knew going into it that he might need convincing. If we didn’t share community ties, he probably wouldn’t have even entertained the idea.

But if we wanted to produce locally grown malt, we couldn’t do it without locally grown grain, so the farmer’s commitment was vital.  I was asking him to have faith in us and take a chance on a new crop. I told him about the craft beer boom in North Carolina, and that the brewers were importing all their malt even though we had the perfect conditions to grow it here. He seemed intrigued.

“I’m listening,” he said.

Fast forward a few years to our annual grower’s appreciation dinner, the first since we became fully operational.  I poured my friend a golden straw-colored draft out of a beat up old kegerator we have at the malt house.  “That’s your barley in there,” I said to him.  His typically stoic expression morphed into a grin.  He sipped his beer, recalling all the early mornings and hard work that he put into that glass.  “Not bad,” he joked, and that was all I needed to hear.

We had similar conversations with many local farmers in those early days, all of them a bit wary about this new idea. But twelve of these farmers were willing to bet on us and to bet on themselves and their ability to grow some of the finest barley in the world, right here in North Carolina’s Historic Grain Belt.

We source our barley from within a 30-mile radius not because locally grown food is trendy, but because our neighbors are some of the most dedicated farmers in the world.

We are proud to work with local farmers and to make their barley into some of the highest quality malts in the Carolinas.  We are driven by a passion to connect this land and these farmers with the talented folks throughout the South who turn our malt into incredible beer.

It’s inspiring to think about all the goodness that can originate from a 30-mile radius of our malt house.  We love this place, and we love connecting these local farmers to beer makers and beer drinkers who appreciate the superior quality of well grown, locally sourced ingredients.