Celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day 2020 happening Feb 11!
“NO Farms, NO Beer!” It’s a bumper sticker we’ve all seen, but few of us actually know or appreciate how deep and true that statement runs. Unless you live in a bubble of ridiculous ignorance, you know that beer has four main ingredients: barley, water, yeast and hops. Without farms or farmers, we wouldn’t have 50% of those ingredients and life would be a sad existence. Just think about it, happy hour would become just adequate hour, Thirsty Thursdays would give way to Worsty Thursdays, and scariest of all, breweries would probably have to resort to brewing Kombucha all day. In short, it would be a bleak existence.
It all starts with the barley. Ever since some genius decided to domesticate the grain, farmers have been growing it to provide food and drink for their families. Fast forward to today and we have over 23,000 farmers in Canada alone who work tirelessly to make sure the grain silos are stocked full of beautiful Canadian crop. Over 8 million tonnes of barley are harvested in our nation each year and much of which is used to make beer! What we don’t use for ourselves, we ship to over 40 nations which provides valuable dollars to our economy. And this is just the Barley!
The demand for hops is on the rise as well. Those IBUs only come from one place. You guessed it...the green thumbs of happy hop growers! BC, once the British Empire’s premier source for hops is once again seeing a resurgence of the hop farm. Other parts of Canada too! Just think what the world would be like without our beloved IPAs… Actually, don’t think about that, let’s just give thanks to our hop farmers.
So, on February 11, head out to your local drinking hole, buy yourself a fresh glass of Canadian beer and hoist it high to our farmers and agricultural workers. These fine folks do the dirty work so we can just sit there and drink it all in.
For more information and events near you, check out the Canadian Federation of Agriculture Website:
If you want to learn more about barley farming and the malting process, there’s a great video right here on Here For Beer:
Mike Ansley, more commonly known as The Beer Rater, is a self-proclaimed Craft Beer-Evangelist. With his strangely tolerant wife, he can be seen reporting on beer all over the place, with a twist of humour.
Follow him everywhere - @thebeerrater
or check out his blog – thebeerrater.com
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