"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
- Abraham Lincoln
In 2020, Food21 began to establish the Joint Center for Value Chain Development. The Center is focused on assessing opportunities for the continuing growth of the regional food system by increasing integration of all the elements – from growers and producers to processors and retailers. We believe that value chains present the best approach to establishing a resilient and sustainable food economy.
The first project launched out of the Center is Farm to Tap. The work grew out of a meeting with Dan Conway, founder of Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland. When asked about using locally sourced ingredients in his beer, Mr. Conway remarked on the scarcity of locally produced hops and malt. Of those two ingredients, Dan remarked that if he had to choose between local hops or local malt, he would choose locally produced malt. By Fall of 2020 the first harvest of malting barley was done and the project was on its way!