Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Rooting for beer

As organic processors we are really excited about grain to glass.” – Christian Ettinger, Hopworks Urban Brewery

image courtesy of Patagonia Provisions.

If you watch Patagonia Provision’s movie Unbroken Ground you will learn about Kernza, a grain developed by The Land Institute in Kansas.

Kernza is a perennial grain, meaning it does not have to be replanted every year. Perennial grains retain more nutrients, are able to use rain fall better and help trap carbon. That is important because a lot of top-soil gets lost during tilling.

Kernza grows a tap root up to 10 feet long. The root system stays in the soil after the grain is harvested adding carbon rich organic matter. That deep tap root helps prevent erosion by holding soil in place.

Cool stuff in its own right but it gets better, Kernza is being used to make beer.

Patagonia worked with Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland Oregon  to create Long Root Ale.

Beer with a purpose, I’ll drink to that!

Learn more about this collaboration at Patagonia Provisions.




  1. Fred W Fox says:

    Hi Tom: Congratulations on your latest gig w/ Marine Fish Con. Network! Got the news from friends at NOAA – Fisheries Service.
    I may not have told you I retired so my dot-gov won’t work; my current email is attached.
    Rob and I would like to have a Tenkara guided trip w/ you this Spring if your schedule enables.

    Best Regards and Cheers,

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