Notes from Brunch - No. 003


This is our weekly collection of stories, videos, and insights on the minds of the authors at The Artisan Situation. We recommend reading these after Sunday Brunch.

The beer industry is in the period of what I like to the call, “The Hop Forward Craze.” This is the desire around the country for different, unique, and innovative IPAs using hops with a diverse variety of flavor profiles. To this point, 98% of the hops grown in this country have come from the Pacific Northwest mostly due to infrastructure, but also climate. But does that create a truly diverse IPA landscape, when all the hops are mostly coming from the same place? This article on October by Will Thompson, explains the idea of regionality in wine and how we can draw conclusions about the future of regional hops. Will explains the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. READ

A friend of mine from my days interacting with the Dickinson College Farm community, Kenze Burkhart, is starting a really bold and exciting project in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania called Stubborn Ewe Farm. She is starting a small scale vegetable and livestock operation that will support and supply a mobile pizza and baked goods operation. Beyond providing sustainable and healthy food to a community that needs it, she is telling her story. This first episode of her podcast she gets personal and does not shy away from her own struggles and triumphs as a young farmer. I am looking forward to following her on her journey. LISTEN

Recently, during my visit to the Berry Center, Mary Berry brought up an interesting article that I had archived in my brain about two years ago. In 2014 Bren Smith, owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm and CEO of the Green Wave, wrote an informative piece about the world of farming. The reality he described is that “the dirty secret of the food movement is that the much-celebrated small-scale farmer isn’t making a living.” He describes a situation and a challenge that must be overcome for the sustainable food movement to take hold. READ

Dominique Crenn is a chef in San Francisco who has developed a restaurant, Atelier Crenn, that has earned two Michelin stars and has been recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world. Those types of achievements come with a high level of skill and technical prowess, but also require much more than that. Chef’s Table documents a story that is personally driven, each dinner service is punctuated by an artistic expression of who Dominique is and what inspires her. WATCH

Natural Roots Farm in Massachusetts is a farm that has pushed forward against many odds and has used these opportunities to pass their knowledge on to years and years of apprentices. NPR describes a story that is happening all over the country, a sudden deep passionate pursuit of something more; a deeper connection to the land. Sit back and learn how this family is thriving with horse-powered farming. READ

After meeting with a Chef Brown of JBees Jamaican-Me-Crazy food truck, he mentioned that his “greatest joy is seeing people smile after each bite.” As a so-called “food journalist,” I find it intriguing when idea is turned on its head. First We Feast put something like this together by documenting the intimate identity of Texas BBQ culture, capturing portraits of the chefs themselves. Take a seat and scroll through the magical smiles. VIEW

In case you missed it, I made my way to Chicago via car two weeks ago to attend The Uppers and Downers: Coffee Beer Festival for the second year in a row. This event brings specialty coffee roasters and brewers together to develop some of the most momentous and ambitious coffee beers on the planet. The thing that I find truly incredible about this event is the level of collaboration and experimentation that exists at this festival. The energy is palpable when you walk into Thalia Hall (the home of this yearly event) and I am not just saying that because everyone is caffeinated. If you live near Chicago and haven’t experienced this festival you are missing out. READ

Whenever I visit Rehoboth Beach, Delaware two things are very apparent. Not only, is it a wonderful picturesque beach town, but it is home to a piece of the beer history; the home of the original Dogfish Head Brewpub. This past summer my visit to Rehoboth featured a new destination on their main street, Chesapeake and Maine. This destination pairs inspired seafood with quality craft beverages using exclusively Dogfish beer and spirits. They have created something that is visually stunning and uniquely Dogfish. You are able to interact with seafood that is carefully described and detailed to express the location and personality of each farmer and fish-monger. VISIT