Local brews, pickles up for national award

The Recorder, November 8, 2018, by Diane Broncaccio

Turning 4 years old this weekend, Stoneman Brewery has something else to celebrate: the announcement that two of its Colrain-based brews are finalists for the San Francisco-based Good Food Awards.

This year, products made by 324 food and drink crafters nationwide are vying for this award. Out of 2,035 entries, 400 products were made finalists, in a blind tasting involving 262 bakers, makers, farmers, journalists and chefs. All the finalists partner with farmers, ranchers and fishermen to build a better food system, avoiding carbon-emitting fertilizers and pesticides, favoring practices that build soil health, and sourcing local ingredients.

The award-finalist beers — Dragon Beam Double IPA and the Tractor Ryed IPA — will be for sale this weekend on the Crafts of Colrain self-guided tour, at 20 Stetson Brothers Road, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Tractor Ryed IPA (India pale ale) was created for the 25th anniversary of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture), according to owner/brewer Justin Korby. “All of my beers use over 50 percent locally and regionally sourced ingredients,” Korby said.

If Koby’s beers win, he’ll be going out to the Good Food Awards gala ceremony in San Francisco in January. But he probably won’t be going alone: Real Pickles of Greenfield also has two finalist products — garlic dill pickles and organic garlic kraut. And Katie Korby, Justin’s wife, is a worker-owner and fermentation manager at Real Pickles.