A MONTH AFTER OPENING THE tasting room, Arrowood Farms, in Accord, became the state’s first NOFA-NY certified organic farm brewery. The farm utilizes a self-sustaining biosystem involving crop rotation, livestock and something co-owner and head farmer Blake Arrowood calls “fermigation” (fertilization through irrigation) to maintain an acre of organic hops and ten acres of organic rye.
The farm brewery supports a host of animal life; in turn, the animals support the brewery. An abundance of ducks (more than 100) fertilize the soil and provide meat and eggs that can be sold to tasting room visitors or distributed to local restaurants. Beehives (21 at last count) support pollination and provide honey for sale or for special beers. A drove of sheep keep the hopyards weeded, while a drift of piglets (destined to become charcuterie) eat the spent mash.
While the agricultural harmony on the farm contributes a certain terroir to the brews, so does the water used in the brewing process. According to head brewmaster Jacob Meglio, the farm draws on the calcium-rich, slightly hardened water from the Widow Jane caves in nearby Rosendale. “It’s actually very similar to German Rhine water, which is a classic brewing water,” Meglio says.
“We’re going to do 100 percent estate-grown beer this fall from the 2016 harvest of our hops and rye,” Arrowood says. Six brews currently are on tap, including a Kölsch-style beer, a pale ale, an IPA, two brown ales and a stout. A seasonal brew will be featured this fall. All are available by the pint or half-keg at the farm, as well as at select locations in Kingston, Rosendale, Stone Ridge and New York City.