I am not going to lie to you… I had no idea what Kernza was before this press release hit my inbox. The more I read about it, the more fascinated I get. Rhinegeist and Patagonia Provisions are bringing a lager to market to help us not only understand this fantastic grain but to force us to think more about how the beer industry can start to treat the environment better and more sustainably.
A Little Bit About Patagonia Provisions
Patagonia Provisions is the food and beverage arm of outdoor apparel company Patagonia. They work to bring delicious and nutritious Patagonia-branded products to customers across the United States that also help fight the climate crisis.
The company is committed to supporting farming and fishing practices that restore and regenerate the environment rather than extract or deplete it. In short, it’s a business built to save our home planet.
The Kernza Lager
This new lager from Rhinegeist is brewed with a mix of organic hops, including Organic Centennial and El Dorado. It uses Regenerative Organic Certified Kernza sourced from A-Frame Farm, a 1,200-acre Regenerative Organic Certified farm in Madison, Minnesota.
According to the brewery, the resulting lager is approachable and light, with notes of peach, citrus peel, and crackery malt. They go on to say that it’s a perfect beer for any occasion that you find yourself in.
From a much bigger perspective, this beer is part of a recently launched program from Patagonia with 11 different craft breweries nationwide to bring Regenerative Organic Certified Kernza and organic ingredients together. Each of these brewery’s beers will be unique and exclusive to their own geography. They will be Patagonia branded and available in their regions starting now.
This partnership aims to scale regenerative farming practices and perennial ingredients that improve soil health, restore ecosystems and help fight the climate crisis from the ground up. 1% of sales from each beer made in the collaboration will also go towards a local non-profit that supports environmental initiatives.
So, What Is Kernza Anyways?
Kernza is a deeply-rooted regenerative perennial grain. It has the potential to absolutely transform the brewing industry. Kernza stabilizes soil, it requires minimal tilling, increases organic matter in the soil, and improves the structure of the soil and it’s water-holding capacity.
Patagonia is confident that ongoing research will also confirm that Kernza draws down and stores more carbon in the soil than annual grains.
When Kernza is used in brewing, it adds a delicious but subtle nutty flavor. This beer should be fantastic!
The Bigger Picture
This is an excellent example of how our breweries can keep evolving how they do things and why they do them. It’s a move that has the potential to reshape the industry and the impact that it has on the world around us.
Of course… getting a new, tasty beer out of the deal isn’t all that bad, either.