'Farmer Brewer' weekend returning to Hartwick College

This year's theme logo
There may be something different at this year's "Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend." More distillers.

Organizers of the fifth annual event, scheduled for the weekend of February 4-5 at the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage in Oneonta, are urging craft distillers interested in using more local grain and malt "and leveraging the marketing value of that grain-to-glass story" to sign up for the conference along with the usual brewers, growers, etc.

"Farmer Brewer" is intended to bring together people from the entire grain supply chain -- plant breeders, farmers, maltsters, brewers, and distillers -- to learn from each other and leading industry presenters in a collaborative environment.

“Every year we try to bring more advanced material so we’re really helping people stay at the cutting edge of their craft,” says Center Director Aaron MacLeod. “I think distillers are looking for ways to connect with the local movement, and certainly using local malts and local grains is a big part of that.”

The event was created by Andrea and Christian Stanley of the Hadley, MA, malt house Valley Malt in 2013, and was moved to Oneonta last year. It now is presented by the college and the Craft Maltsters Guild. Hartwick College is located at

MacLeod, a malt and grain chemist, and his Hartwick students provide grain, malt, hops, and beer analysis, as well as business development and education guidance, to farmers, maltsters, brewers, distillers, and others.

The conference theme this year is “Everything in Modification,” celebrating the four elements needed to make malt: fire, water, air, and time. The full schedule, list of presenters, and registration link are available online. Last year's event sold out, and admission continues to be capped at 100 to maximize interaction.

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

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