“Local beer takes more than a taproom.”

Last year we highlighted LINC Foods’ work with Gonzaga University to overcome logistics challenges in order to get local produce into university dining halls. We’re big fans of LINC’s work, not just because they’re a Local Orbit customer — but because co-founders Joel Williamson and Beth Robinette are resourceful entrepreneurs who are developing one of the most innovative food hub business models in the country.

The New Food Economy published an inspiring story about LINC’s work within the Spokane foodshed to build “the infrastructure for truly local beer.” It quotes Carl Sagan: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” — an on-point analogy for what we’re seeing across local food chains, and the kind of vision and effort it takes to change the way communities eat.

Local beer takes more than a taproom. Just as bakers need flour for bread, brewers need malted grains to brew. The problem is there’s a scarcity of local malthouses — the facilities that germinate grains, so brewers can use the starch to feed fermentation. If you want to make truly local beer, don’t start a brewery. You’d better get busy and build a malthouse.

Here’s an excerpt that focuses on the beginnings of LINC’s distribution business — and their continuing process of asking questions, bootstrapping, learning, experimenting and evolving.

photo by Chris Lozier, via The New Food Economy

Read the full article on The New Food Economy.


Local Orbit’s Field Notes

stories and resources for re-linking the food chain (from localorbit.com)

Erika Block

Written by

listener, facilitator, systems thinker, grower & founder/ceo of @localorbit - Powering the New Food Economy

Local Orbit’s Field Notes

stories and resources for re-linking the food chain (from localorbit.com)