Labor Day honors America’s workers and the many contributions they’ve made to our nation’s strength and prosperity.
And it’s the perfect time to reflect on a unique partnership that sometimes get overlooked in the beer biz. That brewers and farmers are joined at the hip…that they both need each other and that we need them.
Beer is mainly a mix of four key ingredients water, yeast, hops, and fermentable grains things like barley, corn, rice, rye, wheat and oats, sorghum. And without those grains and farmers who grow them, there wouldn’t be a beer industry.
As the Beer Institute correctly notes “Farmed ingredients are a complex system for every brewer, who must work in close partnership with an array of farmers to meet the specialty needs for every beer.
That synergy extends to brewers working with growers on fermentable grain and hop breeding programs. Global brewing giant, Anheuser-Busch alone spent more than $5.5 billion on ingredients that came directly from hundreds of US farms over the last decade.
Farmers also depend on brewers. The livelihoods of thousands of independent farmers around the world depend on supplying beer’s ingredients.
Farmers also rely on scientific support from brewers to improve farming techniques and crop yields. Anheuser-Busch has spent serious money developing new barley varieties that produce high yields using 40 percent less water. And sponsored expensive programs to help American farmers transition to organic barley production.
And Anheuser-Busch is not the only brewing major lending farmers a hand…
“Molson Coors Beverage Company has invested more than $20 million over the last decade, working with farmers to future-proof their crops and ensure they have the tools and resources to adapt to changing conditions,” according to the Beer Institute.
Bottom line, brewers and farmers need each other. It’s an ancient relationship that some archeologists think dates back as far as 7,000 BC.
And that special relationship deserves a toast, especially on Labor Day.