Echoview Estate Ale, a 100% Echoview Farm-grown beer brewed by Fonta Flora in collaboration with Riverbend Malt House, is the first ASAP-certified beer, to be released November 8th.
You’ve heard of farm to table, but what about farm to bottle? Three players in the local agrarian beer movement--Echoview Farm, Riverbend Malt House, and Fonta Flora Brewery--have joined forces to create Echoview Estate Ale, the first craft beer certified by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP).
Echoview Estate Ale, an Appalachian-style triple with blackberry honey and lemon balm, gets its name from Echoview Farm in Weaverville, where all the ingredients were sourced to make the beer, including honey, hops, barley, and lemon balm. With its focus on sustainability, Echoview Farm owner Julie Jensen calls the craft beer the farm’s "mission in a bottle.” On the Echoview Estate Ale label, she dedicates the beer to her father, Ron “Babe” Jensen, who showed her the valuable role that beer can play in developing community and who continues to inspire her work at Echoview Farm.
The beer label further acknowledges the collaboration between Echoview Farm, Riverbend Malt House, and Fonta Flora Brewery as a “powerful relationship and what it means to be a farmer, a maltster, and a brewer.”
The front of the Echoview Estate Ale bottle illustrates another important feature of Echoview Farm: Alpacas. In addition to keeping bees and growing agriculture, Echoview Farm is a fiber farm, with alpacas, goats, angora bunnies, and even two Scottish Highland cows. Jensen’s sister company, Echoview Fiber Mill, is half a mile down the road, where she and her team use the raw animal fibers to create beautiful textiles and yarn.
Todd Steven Boara, the owner and brewer behind Fonta Flora Brewery, even considered using some alpaca fibers from Echoview Farm’s herd in the beer making process for the Echoview Estate Ale, at least initially.
“Brent [from Riverbend Malt House] and I threw around the idea of using alpaca hair in the mash as a filtering agent, but we ultimately decided that was a bad idea,” Boera said with a laugh.
Fonta Flora has garnished national attention for its creative, boundary-pushing local beers, taking home gold at the coveted Great American Beer Festival for their Dry Irish Stout, and a recent mention in Men’s Journal for their Salted Sunflower Saison.
“Working with Echoview Farm and Riverbend Malt House allows us to stay true to our agricultural roots and simultaneously offer a product that literally can’t be found or brewed anywhere else,” said Boera.
Those wanting to try the Echoview Estate Ale release will have to act fast. Less than 1,000 bottles of the Echoview Estate Ale beer will be released in conjunction with Fonta Flora Brewery's one-year anniversary festivities on Saturday, November 8th, in 750 ml champagne bottles available at the brewery’s headquarters in Morganton. As for tasting notes, the craft beer drinker can expect subtle notes of honey, fruity yeast esters, and freshly bailed hay in this highly anticipated release.
About Echoview Farm
Echoview Farm is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Weaverville, North Carolina, with a mission to demonstrate that sustainable agriculture can work in Western North Carolina and beyond. In addition to growing hops, the farm raises fiber animals, and hosts a popular summer camp for girls. Half a mile down the road is Echoview Fiber Mill, the sister company of the farm, where raw animals fibers are processed into yarn and textiles. Echoview Fiber Mill is committed to leaving a light footprint on the environment and won the first Gold LEED Certification for a manufacturing mill in the US. For more information on the educational opportunities and farm tours open to the public at Echoview Farm, visit http://farm.echoviewnc.com/. To learn more about Echoview Fiber Mill, visit http://mill.echoviewnc.com and https://www.facebook.com/EchoviewFiberMill.
About Riverbend Malt House
Riverbend Malt House was founded in 2010 as triple bottom line company dedicated to providing locally-sourced, artisan malts to the breweries of the southeast. Riverbend purchases all of their raw materials within a 500 mile radius of the malt house and utilizes a unique floor-malting process to create a line of flavorful malts. Learn more at www.riverbendmalt.com
About Fonta Flora Brewery
Located in beautiful Morganton, North Carolina, Fonta Flora Brewery integrates the soul of agriculture with the artisanship of zymurgy to create a menagerie of rustic and savory libations. With an emphasis on seasonal flora, Fonta Flora brings English tradition and Belgian inspiration to the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. Fonta Flora utilizes local agriculture with the goal of creating a truly North Carolina/Appalachian style of craft beer. This uniquely artisan approach to beer yields a sustainable product filled with culture from our very own community.