NASHVILLE, TN — The Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild today announced the commencement of a statewide campaign – “Farm to Tap” – to encourage more homegrown farm products to be used in local craft beers.
The initiative is being funded on appropriation of $350,000 from the General Assembly.
“Craft brewers in Tennessee are creative and innovative, and many have already discovered the advantages of using Tennessee grown products in their offerings,” said Sharon Cheek, the group’s executive director. “Farm To Tap is a tremendous opportunity to give an economic boost to our farm economy, provide new product lines for the ever-growing craft brewing sector, and give consumers more ways to support local businesses.”
“We are grateful and excited to partner with the Department of Agriculture to steer more demand to Tennessee farm products,” she said.
Kyle Hensley, business development consultant for the Department of Agriculture, is working closely with the Guild, the state’s 95 agriculture extension agents and the University of Tennessee to assist with the campaign.
“This is a logical complement to the state’s successful Pick Tennessee Products campaign, which connects customers to locally grown or locally made products and farm-related activities,” Hensley said. “While grain products like wheat and barley are certainly common ingredients in many craft beers, Tennessee farmers produce other ingredients – like strawberries, watermelon, other fruits, nuts and honey — which are becoming increasingly popular with craft beer enthusiasts. We want to help our brewers familiarize themselves with what is available and how best to procure the produce.”
Starting with a kick-off event at Harding House Brewing in Nashville on Nov. 16, the Guild will then move across the state to introduce and reinforce the concept, with events being planned for Knoxville and Memphis in early December with other locations following. “Farm To Tap” themed festivals are also in the works in February and March in East, Middle and West Tennessee.
“We want to identify and spotlight ‘pioneers’ in our industry who have already discovered the positives of using Tennessee farm products and introduce farmers and brewers to the concept in one-on-one meetings, small group sessions, and large-scale festivals and other events. We plan to get the word out through as many means as possible within our resources,” Cheek said.
Any breweries interested in participating can get more information at https://www.farmtotap.org/.
The Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild is a 501(C)6 nonprofit membership organization representing independent craft breweries across Tennessee. It exists to advance the interests of and serve as the collective voice for the Tennessee craft brewing industry.