Earth. Beer. Fire

Inside Dakota Ag

Rogue Farm hits the mark promoting its beer with some plain talk about how it grows malting barley.

Published on: October 30, 2013

Earth. Beer. Fire.

Those words in an email got my attention.

Turned out the email was a press release from Rogue Farm, an Oregon operation where a craft brewer grows malting barley.

Theirs was not a fancy pants, touchy feeling story about how they carefully nurture the tiny barley plants and eventually make malt. They didn’t try to make the point that they were good farmers by shooting a video cartoon of a cute-looking scarecrow picking hops out of a garden like Chipotle Restaurant did to promote its use of locally grown foods.

No, they wrote: “Getting the soil ready for seed drilling is a six week struggle between cold steel and hard dirt - with a little help from fire.”

They went on to explain how that to prepare for winter seeding of barley they burned off last year’s stubble, plowed the field and picked rocks.

They touted the benefits of the barley variety they were planting.

“When you grow it, you know it…taste the difference it makes the next time you're drinking a Rogue beer or spirit,” was the tag line.

They talked about their beer’s “journey from the ground to the glass.”

Okay, maybe it’s a little cheesy, but I like the vibe. It was tough. Manly.

Maybe mainstream commodity groups could learn something from Rogue Farm. Maybe they can talk plainly about about the tough, risky and sometimes dirty business of raising food, fuel and fiber.

I'd sure appreciate it.