There have been reports in every news outlet you can think of over the past few months about the raising costs of two of beer’s chief ingredients – both hops and barley malt. But what are breweries doing to combat the increased costs without doing too much damage to their pockets or ours? One Maine brewery, Gritty McDuffs, has taken a big step towards keeping the price of their brews down. The brewery has won approval from the town of Freeport to add a grain silo to its Route 1 brew pub there.
The silo, which is 24 feet tall and 12 feet wide and holds 50,000 pounds of grain, will allow the brewery to save money by buying their grain in bulk (rather than by the sack, which is the way its purchased now). Brewery Manager Billy Stebbins told the media this morning that he may order the silo as early as this afternoon and hopes to have it in place by February 2008, when the microbrewery will need its next shipment of grain. Stebbins estimates the silo will cost somewhere between $9,000 and $11,000.
Mainers state-wide, myself included, are undoubtedly excited that Gritty’s is doing all they can to keep their brews affordable without compromising their flavor or integrity. Cheers to that.