Notch Brewing Expands, Announces New Locally Sourced Beer

Notch Session BSA HarvestMost craft beer drinkers in the Boston area have become familiar with Notch Session and now consumers across the entire state will be able to find Notch’s signature session offerings.

Founder Chris Lohring officially expanded his distribution network last week, and will now reach key markets outside of Boston and the North Shore.

His newest limited release beer, which is scheduled to hit shelves next month, is a 4.4 percent American-farmhouse beer and a nod to local agriculture.

“Making this beer has everything to do with my desire to help support local agriculture,” said Lohring.

The Brewers Supporting Agriculture program, for which the BSA Harvest beer is named, is modeled after community supported agriculture programs. The program allows local brewers to purchase an acre of land used for growing barley and then the Hadley-based Valley Malt will process the grain so brewers can use it in their beers.

But supporting local farmers comes with a price. Lohring paid five times more for the barely than he normally would, something he doesn’t mind doing for small batches.

“I think it provides a flavor profile you can’t get from other ingredients,” he said. “When I first talked to Valley Malt, I told them it was cost prohibitive for me to use their malt of my production beers. But if we as brewers begin using it with more regularity, we will be afforded better prices.”

Despite the increase price of goods, Lohring is able to keep the price-to-consumer relatively low at just $4.50 for a 22-ounce bottle.

“Not only are consumers going to be aware of where the beer comes from, they also know where the ingredients come from now,” he said.

BSA Harvest is brewed with barely that was grown in the BSA program and Rye and Wheat from New England. Mt. Hood, Sterling and Centennial hops are added to provide flavor and aroma qualities while a saison yeast will add a spicy and peppery character that Lohring says won’t be quite as pronounced as it was in his saison.

A release party at The Gulu Gulu café in Salem, MA will mark the release of BSA Harvest on draft. Only 30 barrels of the beer were made, most of which will find its way into bottles that will begin hitting retailers shelves in October.

Also, the Cambridge-based Meadhall will be hosting a party for all the breweries that participated in the BSA program on November 5th. Each brewery will be offering one of the beers made with local ingredients from the program on draught.

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