Though I don’t consider myself a locavore – someone who only eats food that’s locally grown – I would definitely consider myself a local food enthusiast. A couple of years ago, I wrote a story on a woman who embarked on a year-long experiment to eat food only grown within a 250-mile radius of her Brooklyn home. During that year, she discovered that although there are plenty of local breweries, none of them made beer with local grain.
Now we have Mark VanGlad. This morning, with Tundra Brewery, he became the first person to sell beer at the Union Square Greenmarket. (A law was passed in 2009 allowing small-scale breweries in the state to sell at markets). His “Ma-Pale” Pale Ale is completely local, made from hops and barley he grew on his family’s farm in Stamford, NY. Added to the beer is a touch of maple syrup – also made by his family.
VanGlad was at the Greenmarket bright and early this morning – 8 a.m. – and since Union Square is on my way to work, I stopped by, sampled the beer, and chatted with him for a bit. He told me that though there’s maple syrup in the beer, it’s only a little, just for a hint of flavor. He was there with Donna Wessel, who had designed the logo and labels, and their excitement was contagious. It was about 8:20 and the pair had already sold a case.
As for the beer, it’s light and slightly hoppy with a hazy, golden color. VanGlad is right about the maple syrup: it’s not overwhelming, but you can definitely tell it’s there.
Read more about VanGlad and Tundra Brewery in the New York Times report.
Let us take a moment to recognize a BeerUnion milestone: this is our hundredth post!