February is a deceptively busy time of year. Sure the Super Bowl was kind of a let down, but the groundhog predicted an early spring, the Oscars should be shorter since there’s no host, and the biggest, most exciting, event of the month is yet to come. Plans have been made, hearts are racing, and nerves are high. Anticipation is mounting as the clock ticks down to that special day. February 14this New Brewhouse Day!
Our trusty 12-barrel system has been a loyal member of our team for over ten years and we are sorry to part ways, but it’s going to have a fabulous new life out west. We are getting a 20 barrel automated system that will allow us to brew larger more precise batches of your favorite beers. Not to mention making it easier to brew small test batches of some seasonal beers. That’s right, new styles are on the way, both classics and a few more adventurous flavors!
And don’t forget the butchery! For the past year we have been honored to work with the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers’ Association. This is a remarkable group of sustainable family farms who have come together to form an incredible supply of all natural, pasture raised, non GMO, Animal Welfare Approved pork for local stores and restaurants as well as national chains like Whole Foods. We honestly weren’t sure if we could only exclusively use local pork in our restaurant. There are a few major problems restaurants run into when it comes to attempting whole animal butchery.
The first is obvious: space. It takes a massive amount of space to accommodate 500 pounds of pork, not to mention the tools needed to cut and package it into manageable portions. The second is utility. What do you do when the most familiar cuts of pork are gone? There is only so much belly and tenderloin per pig, and then what do you do with the remaining 400 pounds? Pressure is building when you’re out of the tenderloin dish on the menu, but you can’t order another pig until you use the hundreds of pounds of pork in your freezer. Farmers often joke that if they could raise a pig that was all bacon and pork chops then they’d be set for life!
The first problem wasn’t an issue for us, but the second was a genuine fear; we didn’t want to buy in substandard bacon or loins because we were out until the next hog order. Thankfully between the skill of the butcher and chef and the advice of the co-op, we were able to make it work all year long. With that experience under our belt, the chef and butcher are using our winter break to create new recipes and products that will emphasize the quality of the pork and the perseverance of the farmers who produce it.
If you can’t wait until March 15thto try some of this delicious pork for yourself, give us a call. We are still offering a hog share program. Individuals, families, or even a group of friends can order a whole hog from NC Natural Hog Growers Association and our butcher will break it down into fresh cuts and roasts according to your specifications. You could even have custom sausages made. Call it a Valentine’s Day gift. Because when you think about it, what is more romantic than pork?